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 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:
However, only four of them in the Gospel of Luke 6:20–22:
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:
Then the four woes follow in Luke 6:24–26:
“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).
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.”
Qassem Company. Our Tour To The Holy Land. Old City, Jerusalem, English ed., pp.132.
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