(Vatican Radio) Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed
are the meek for they will inherit the earth; blessed are the peacemakers – they will
be called the children of God. Most Christians will remember those phrases and the
others spoken by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount, commonly known as the Mount of
In his sermon, Jesus outlines the kind of people who are favored
by God – and who will one day inherit his heavenly kingdom. Matthew and Luke both
recount the Beatitudes in a similar manner – with a few differences. But most scholars
agree that Jesus was trying to overturn the common assumption that worldy power and
wealth offer people the best security and hope.
Some theologians have indicated
that in his Sermon on the mount, Christ was further elaborating on the ten commandments
that Moses received on Mount Sinai.
The Mount of the Beatitudes is generally
believed to be located in Galilee: a hill called Karn Hattin for the two horns which
crown its summit. It is not far from Nazareth, Cana and Mt Tabor. Today, pilgrims
will find a twentieth century Catholic chapel called the Church of the Beatitudes
marking the site.
As part of our series of Lenten reflections on Christian
sites in the Holy Land, scholar and author Fr. Peter Stravinskas takes us up the Mount
of the Beatitudes for Jesus’s sermon on the mount.