First, what does it mean to be blessed? This word is spoken to mean, always, “God’s favor be upon somebody.”
A child sneezes and the parent says, “Bless You.” A godson kisses the hand of his Ninong for a blessing. Many greetings wind up in a “God-bless”.
But what does it mean? How are we blessed? The “who-blesses-us” may not always be expressed, but is there anything or anyone else associated with these words?
“To Bless” is God’s exclusive favor. We are blessed only by God and by no other. And when we say, “God bless you,” we are praying God’s favor to fall on somebody. These words may have become highly trivialized by those who’ve come to use it as a mere expression, but still it is a wish for the best to come into one’s life. And this “wish”, to reiterate, can only be granted by God.
Second, what is this blessing that should come upon us? In Matthew 5:1-12, Jesus is speaking to His disciples – or as The Message puts it – “to the committed,” who climbed with Him, “His companions.”
Is it possible to experience God’s blessings if we don’t even know who God is? When we are “at the end of our ropes” and we don’t know God, who do we call? What do we resort to? But if we know God, then, there is our blessing, only more apparent, at least to us, who may have forgotten that it is available – MORE OF GOD – since it is to Him we run to, we give Him the reins of our lives, we submit to His rule.
It is the same as when we, for example, lose a loved one, when we are stripped of everything we hold dear and realize we have the very things that we may have taken for granted but are essential to keep our hearts at peace and our eyes sparkling in contentment.
If we know God, we understand that His hand is upon us, and this is our blessing – knowing He is around, He is present, He is Immanuel. He is our sustenance. We are blessed when we have stopped being indifferent and started looking and caring for others. This means that God has given us a wider plane of existence – we are not here merely for ourselves, for our survival, for our prosperity; we are here for others: that they too may live, may survive, may prosper, but from God’s perspective.
We are blessed as we have been given inner peace, that peace that only God can give because “He has conquered the world.” Conquering the world means being victorious over whatever evil this world may use to entice and trap us. It is victory over sin – becoming holy – not in the sense of getting ordained or awarded a memorial statue for living a life of great righteousness – but in the sense of understanding and accepting the truth that Jesus has indeed given his life in exchange for our sins, therefore we have been cleansed – and thus – blessed.
And we are blessed if we know that God’s peace means that our role on earth is to make known the way and rein of peace. This peace is our task to keep in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our communities, in our countries, in this world. This is our role only because WE BELONG TO GOD’S FAMILY.
So we, the committed, the Jesus-followers, the Christians, His companions, are blessed in these ways, because WE KNOW that God has promised these blessings upon us. Even all the mocking we receive as a response to our KNOWING GOD and LETTING HIM KNOWN make way for more blessings upon us. So this is the reason why we are ready or should be ready for these persecutions.
Blessings are precious favors to those who know they can claim these favors. You are blessed because God is your God and You Know It, and Live it, and Breathe it, and Share it.
May all His blessings be completely yours even as 2013 promises us no easy ride.