In unknown lands…

Imagine that you want to visit an unknown country. What are you going to do before you leave? You will take interest in its culture and its language: you will learn a little about local ways of life and perhaps you will learn some basic language skills as well as basic rules of good manners.

Once there, you will discover the values of this country. Its traditions, its beliefs, arts and letters, in short all the distinctive, spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional traits which characterize this society and its social groups.

We ourselves were born in our respective countries and have integrated the culture.

Entering a new kingdom, but with our own ways of life?

One day we accepted Jesus as our personal Saviour and we became children of God: we were then born into the kingdom of God. How do we live in this kingdom? With the lifestyles that have been embedded in us from a very young age?

Jesus spoke about happiness at the beginning of his ministry

At the beginning of his ministry, through his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expressed what the Constitution of his kingdom was (cf. Matthew 5 to 8).

This is one of Jesus’ most fundamental messages, where he talks about all topics (relationships, possessions, life objectives, interior life) by expressing an opinion radically different from that of his time.

Living according to the culture of the kingdom of God

These chapters prove that even if salvation is free, following Jesus day after day is costly: to have faith is to live according to the culture of the kingdom of God, which is more demanding than our cultural norms and habits. The teachings of Jesus amount to a challenge of our faith.

Living according to the kingdom of God begins by questioning what’s in our heart and more particularly what makes up our thoughts. It is written:

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2).

With divine values, the basis of happiness

In other words, if we agree, Christ generates interior changes through his life in us. As we allow ourselves to be soaked with the life and light of Christ, we incorporate divine values that are much higher than those of our countries!

Little by little we incorporate these values and live according to them…happiness

Slowly but surely, we walk according to them, as disciples of Christ. This way of life goes against our human habits and natural inclinations.

In fact, our new ways of functioning may seem strange to our compatriots, because we are led to give where the world takes, to love someone when there is reason to hate them, to offer relief where it would be expected to oppress.

These are just a few examples of “trademarks” of the divine, foreign to our usual spontaneous functioning. We express divine and eternal values, which go against temporary and superficial values, however good they may be.

Happiness, well-being, fulfillment

This Sermon on the Mount is also called The Beatitudes – from the Latin word beatitudo, which means happiness, well-being and fulfilment. To live according to the kingdom of God is to live out Christ and express Christ. It’s happiness… for yourself and all around!

God is in your favour! Have a beautiful day !

Musique : foreovermorekara (P. Béchir)