“Blessed are the Merciful” (Matthew 5:7)

Father George Konstantopoulos

March 24, 2021

The Sermon on the Mount of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, specifically His Beatitudes evokes about blessing, revealed through the beatitude on as to how to be blessed. “To be blessed” means  “being in an enviable state of those who are in God’s heavenly Kingdom.” Focusing on a particular Beatitude which is “Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy,” it is important to understand, we shall be merciful for God shall have mercy on us. (Matthew 5:7)

Holy Scripture states, “He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” Mercy is the compassion of God toward man. Therefore, every form of God’s righteousness to man is a form of mercy and love for him, after all the Lord was “led like a lamb to the slaughter” and died for us on the Cross. (Psalm 24:5, Isaiah 53:7)

God has commanded humans to obey the laws for we shall be righteous; even through our struggle; we ought to have mercy towards God. It is said, “Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.” The mercy of God will be amongst humans if there is adherence to His commandments. (Deuteronomy 6:25)

Mercy is the actual and pure compassion of the Orthodox Christian towards his fellow man, including his enemy. It is also revealed on our active support for our fellow man, both materially and spiritually. Though it is essential to support our fellow man financially, donating clothes, food, and other necessary materials, it is not enough. We shall also have a relation-ship with built up by love. The meaning of being merciful is to “have compassion for one’s enemy and to be willing to forgive them.” It is to say sincerely, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (Matthew 6:12)

The Sermon on the Mount of Our Lord and Savior also is also a preaching about “the how to perform deeds of mercy:” it teaches us to beware of practicing our piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then we will have no reward from God. Thus, when we give alms, as the hypocrites do.… But when we give alms, we must not let our left hand know what your right hand is doing…. To do deeds of kindness with the aim of being praised by others, will be the means of depriving oneself of the rewards of our Heavenly Father, for God Who sees in secret will reward you. As it is said, “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” (Matthew. 6:1-4)

Christians need to have sympathy for those people living around us. They are “the Lazaruses of our lives the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus,” who are the reason for our salvation and key of our inheritance of Kingdom of Heaven. Instead of having love of money, we shall have love for the needy and poor; In Luke’s gospel it is stated, “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him and He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one title of the law to fail.” (Luke 16:14–31)

According to how we have pity and treated them, we shall be merciful and “all those who are charitable and merciful on earth in the Name of God will find mercy in the Kingdom of Heaven.”