Pope Francis: The original Greek word for ‘blessed” is ‘makarios’ — not having a full belly or doing well but rather a person who progresses in the grace of God and on the path of God. Beatitudes are a secure and beautiful path to happiness

Jan 29, 2020

The beatitudes are a path to joy and true happiness mapped out by Jesus for all of humanity, Pope Francis has said.

“It is difficult not to be touched by these words,” the pope said Jan. 29 during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall.

“They contain the ‘identity card’ of a Christian because they outline the face of Jesus himself; his way of life.”

Beginning a new series of talks on the beatitudes, the pope said that there is more to the beatitudes than just a “passing joy or occasional enjoyment.”

“There’s a difference between pleasure and happiness. The former does not ensure the latter and sometimes puts it at risk, while happiness can also live with suffering” which often happens, he said.

Like God who gave Moses and the people of Israel the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, Jesus chooses a hillside to “teach a new law: to be poor, to be meek, to be merciful.”

However, the pope said that these “new commandments” are more than just a set of rules because Christ did not set out to “impose anything” but instead chooses to “reveal the way to happiness” by repeating the word “blessed.”

“But what does the word ‘blessed’ mean?” he asked. “The original Greek word ‘makarios‘ does not mean someone who has a full belly or is doing well but rather a person who is in a condition of grace, who progresses in the grace of God and who progresses on the path of God.”

Pope Francis invited the faithful to read the beatitudes in their free time so that they “may understand this very beautiful, very secure path of happiness that the Lord gives us.

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