February 2007

The new Law of happiness

The Beatitudes represent the opening lines of the Sermon on the Mount, which St. Matthew places as Jesus' first major speech within his ministry. Each of the Beatitudes begins with the word "Blessed", as in "Blessed are the poor in spirit" or "Blessed are the meek". The word "blessed" does not quite capture the ancient Greek word, however, which is the word "makarios". "Makarios" is often translated as "happy", but it does not mean a simple human contentment, but a happiness that is rock-solid and overflowing.