One of the most important needs is the need for belonging. Every one of us wants to belong to a family be it a personal family, or to a group of friends or a church community. For God created us to be social beings.  As the great poet John Donne said: “No man is an island unto himself; each one is part of the main(land).”  When a person’s need for belonging is not met, they can feel rejected and  less than human. I am sure you can remember playing with friends in the school yard and desperately wanting to be chosen to be part of a team activity. When a child isn’t chosen, it is easy to feel rejected, and lonely. In our world today, there are many who are made to feel that they don’t belong:  troubled family members, immigrants, addicted, homeless, elderly/infirm, babies in the womb. God saw this would happen and sent His son into the world for the ministry of reconciliation. Reconciliation not only means making amends for our sins committed, but also that God wants people to become kind and loving with each other. God put us here to build up each other’s lives and spirits.  And it is in this spirit of reconciliation that I believe Jesus taught the beatitudes in today’s Gospel: “Blessed are the poor in spirit; blessed are they who mourn; blessed are the meek; blessed are they who hunger & thirst for righteousness; blessed are the peacemakers; blessed are those who are insulted and persecuted falsely for the kingdom.”  Jesus is teaching us by word & example that this is our work as His followers as well. It is the work of reconciliation. There are many people in our lives, perhaps even in our own families, who seem to be on the “outside” of things. They may feel ignored, discounted, dismissed. They feel that they count for nothing. Our Lord wants us to be mindful of these our brothers and sisters; people who have become the “lost sheep” of society. Jesus wants us to find and befriend them. We sometimes forget the importance of the beatitudes. They are God’s follow-up to the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament. These laws were about what we were “to do” or “not do” as God’s people. The beatitudes are the new testament’s teaching for mature Christian spirituality: love, reconciliation and peace. They are beyond what we “shouldn’t” do, to how we are called to love.      ~Fr. John

Parish Office

14 Elm Street
Manchester, NH 03103
Phone: (603) 622-5445

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