• David Carlson

493 Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is not about preserving the status quo!


Day 493 Thursday, July 22nd 2021

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is not about preserving the status quo! It’s about living here on earth as if the Reign of God has already begun (see Luke 17:21).


Announcement about our Emmaus Liturgy this Sunday:

Our Emmaus liturgy this Sunday will celebrate the Feast of Saint Mary of Magdala (which is today, July 22nd !).

Mary Magdalene was a woman barely mentioned a dozen times or so in scripture, but yet, it is she who becomes known as “The Apostle to the Apostles.”


How did that transition happen?


This Sunday, we will hear readings that will help us trace her journey.


Come, with your memories of this immensely significant women in the life of Jesus, and all of us.


Bring your hopes for how best to bring her courageous and faithful presence into our world today.


The Beatitudes are the lifeblood and beating heart of our faith. We offer these Beatitudes we have used at Emmaus. They present a somewhat new interpretation, but we believe the essence is unchanged.




We stand with You, the humble in spirit: for your open hearts will be rewarded with radical kinship.


We stand with You humble ones: for you shall learn to laugh, tell stories and listen with open hearts. You will create a joyful disturbance within all of us so that we seek to become meek like you.


We stand with You when your hearts break and when you mourn: for you will find comfort with your sisters and brothers and communities wherever there is hope. We will comfort you.


We stand with You migrants, those who flee drug cartels, gang violence, war and persecution.



We stand with You Women - especially you who have been intimidated, sold into slavery, told to be quiet, to get into the kitchen - excluded from so many conversations. Your hunger and thirst for justice and will make a new world in which all of us share equally in preparing the banquet of peace.


We stand with You who suffer for your very identities: gay men, lesbian women, transgender people, queer people, bisexual people, people of color who suffer persecution on a daily basis but who never lose hope. Yours is the kindom of heaven.


We stand with You who show loving mercy: for you shall obtain mercy and empower us to be non-violent and merciful.


We stand with You who listen to your conscience: for you will challenge the status quo and bring new perceptions to light. You recognize the divine in each person.


We stand with You peacemakers and those who teach non-violence in our prisons and in our world. We call you children of God.


We stand with all who will transform our world by accompanying the poor.


Daily Reflection by Richard Rohr:


I am told that the Sermon on the Mount—the essence of Jesus’ teaching—is the least quoted Scripture in official Catholic Church documents. We must be honest and admit that most of Christianity has focused very little on what Jesus himself taught and spent most of his time doing: healing people, doing acts of justice and inclusion, embodying compassionate and nonviolent ways of living.


I’m grateful that my spiritual father, St. Francis of Assisi, took the Sermon on the Mount seriously and spent his life trying to imitate Jesus. Likewise, Francis’ followers, especially in the beginning, tried to imitate Francis.



Like the Quakers, Shakers, Amish, Mennonites, and the Catholic Worker Movement, Franciscanism offers a simple return to the Gospel as an alternative lifestyle more than an orthodox belief system.


The Sermon on the Mount was not just words for these groups! They focused on including the outsider, preferring the bottom to the top, a commitment to nonviolence, and choosing social poverty and divine union over any private perfection or sense of moral superiority.


At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us this short but effective image so we will know that we are to act on his words and live the teachings, instead of only believing things about God:



Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise person who built a house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.




And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built a house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined (Matthew 7:24–27; my emphasis).


Dorothy Day (1897–1980), one of the founders of the Catholic Worker Movement, understood the Sermon on the Mount as the foundational plan for following Jesus:


“Our manifesto is the Sermon on the Mount, which means that we will try to be peacemakers.” She observed that “we are trying to lead a good life. We are trying to talk about and write about the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, the social principles of the church, and it is most astounding, the things that happen when you start trying to live this way. To perform the works of mercy becomes a dangerous practice.”


That’s because Jesus was teaching an alternative wisdom that shakes the social order instead of upholding the conventional wisdom that maintains it.


Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is not about preserving the status quo! It’s about living here on earth as if the Reign of God has already begun (see Luke 17:21).


In this Reign, the Sermon tells us, the poor are blessed, the hungry are filled, the grieving are filled with joy, and enemies are loved.


Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation

From the Center for Action and Contemplation


Announcement for our Celebration this Sunday:


Our Emmaus liturgy this Sunday will celebrate the Feast of Saint Mary of Magdala (which is today, July 22nd !).

Mary Magdalene was a woman barely mentioned a dozen times or so in scripture, but yet, it is she who

becomes known as “The Apostle to the Apostles.”


How did that transition happen?


This Sunday, we will hear readings that will help us trace her journey.


Come, with your memories of this immensely significant women in the life of Jesus, and all of us.


Bring your hopes for how best to bring her courageous and faithful presence into our world today.



ANNOUNCEMENT: Please check out the Beatitudes Center for the Nonviolent Jesus!


They have several excellent programs on the non-violent Jesus in the next few months:

Here's their link:

https://beatitudescenter.org/programs/


Here's a conference that Nancy McFarland is joining:

“Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Daniel Berrigan & Thich Nhat Hanh:” A Two Part Zoom Conference with Jim Forest

(and Rev. John Dear)

Saturday October 23 & October 30, 2021


Saturday, October 23, 2021 “Part One: Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton,” and Saturday October 30, 2021 “Part Two: Daniel Berrigan and Thich Nhat Hanh.”

Both Sessions are early at 12 noon East Coast Time/9 am Pacific Coast Time (because Jim will be “live” in the evening from the Netherlands where he lives).

$50 total fee; each session will last up to two hours.


Jim Forest has written four great biographies of his friends, “All Is Grace” (Day); “Living with Wisdom” (Merton); “At Play in the Lions’ Den” (Berrigan); and “Eyes of Compassion” (Thich Nhat Hanh). He will speak on his friendships with them and lessons for us. Join us for this special event and help spread the word about it!

https://beatitudescenter.org/programs/


The Beatitudes Center for the Nonviolent Jesus!

Statement of Purpose


The purpose of this organization is to teach and promote the nonviolence of Jesus, to help end violence and to create a new culture of nonviolence through workshops, podcasts, and conferences.


Mission Statement:

To teach and promote the Gospel message that Jesus was totally nonviolent, and that all his followers are called to be totally nonviolent.


Vision Statement:

We strive to help Christians study and live Jesus’ Gospel teachings of nonviolence, especially in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5-7), so that more and more people will practice creative Gospel nonviolence, like Gandhi, Dorothy Day and Dr. King, and work for the abolition of racism, poverty, war, nuclear weapons and environmental destruction, and for the coming of a new culture of nonviolence. We use Pope Francis’ Jan. 1, 2017 World Day of Peace Message, “Nonviolence—A Style of Politics for Peace,” as a guidepost. We offer online and in person workshops, retreats and conferences, podcasts, videos, books, articles and consultation to help fulfill our mission.


Staff:

Rev. John Dear, Founder and Executive Director

Ruth Ann Angus, Administrative Consultant

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