The Church of the Beatitudes & the Sermon on the Mount

July 21, 2018

The Church of the Beatitudes & the Sermon on the Mount




One of the most beautiful and serene holy places to visit in the Holy Land is the Church of the Beatitudes. It commemorates the place where Jesus taught the eight Beatitudes to his disciples. The word “beatitudes” has a Latin origin that mean blessedness or happiness.

The Church of the Beatitudes:

According to Our Tour To The Holy Land by Qassem Company, “the Church of the Beatitudes is a Roman Catholic Church located on the Sea of Galilee near Tabgha and Capernaum. Located on a small hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee, and built on the traditional site of Jesus' delivery of the Sermon on the Mount, pilgrims are known to have commemorated this site since at least the 4th century” (132).

 The Church of the Beatitudes

Matthew:

The eight blessings occur twice in the Bible. They all appear without narrative in the Gospel of Matthew 5:3-10 as eight proverb-like sentences that start with “Blessed are the”. Jesus said:

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
  • Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
  • Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
  • Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
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    The Church of the Beatitudes

    Luke:

    However, only four of them in the Gospel of Luke 6:20–22:

    And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:

  • Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
  • Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled.
  • Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
  • Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
  • Then the four woes follow in Luke 6:24–26:

  • Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
  • Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry.
  • Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
  • Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
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    The Church of the Beatitudes

    History:

    “In her itinerary of the Holy Land, after describing the Church of the Loaves and Fishes, the pilgrim Egeria (c.381) writes, ‘Near there on mountain is the cave to which the Savior climbed and spoke the Beatitudes.’ The current church sits near the ruins of a small Byzantine era church dating to the late 4th century, which contains a rock-cut cistern beneath it and the remains of a small monastery to its southeast. Part of the original mosaic floor has also been recovered and is now on display in Capernaum. Both Popes Paul VI and John Paul ll celebrated Mass at the church during their pastoral visits to the Holy Land” - Our Tour To The Holy Land (132).

    The Church of the Beatitudes

    What do the beatitudes teach us?

    Christian worldwide should make these teachings part of their everyday life. We all should strive to be more humble and take more actions to be the peacemakers Jesus wanted all of us to be - especially in difficult times like these. So remember to focus on love and humility, and to hold on strong to your faith even if you are being “persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    The Church of the Beatitudes

    References:

    • Qassem Company. Our Tour To The Holy Land. Old City, Jerusalem, English ed., pp.132.

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