Contemporary Beatitudes

June 12, 2015

Blessed are the poor and vulnerable. Refugee children in Cambodia. Instances of trafficking have increased in Cambodia due to poverty and migration. cc license photo from the United Nations.

Blessed are the poor and vulnerable. Refugee children in Cambodia. Instances of trafficking have increased in Cambodia due to poverty and migration. cc license photo from the United Nations.

The Gospel of St. Matthew includes an account of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, a list of eight blessings for those who are poor in spirit, meek, in mourning, hungering for justice, merciful, clean of heart, peacemakers and suffering persecution for justice’s sake (5:3-10). We know these blessings as the Beatitudes.

What if Jesus gave his sermon today? Recently the members of the Sisters of Mercy International Working Group on Human Trafficking reimagined the Beatitudes with a focus on one of the most debasing  and horrific scourges of our time: human trafficking.      

The Beatitudes – A Contemporary Version against Human Trafficking
Blessed are those with open eyes and open hearts. Women of the Flower Hmong hill tribe in Cau Cau, Vietnam. Vietnamese women are particularly susceptible to be trafficked due to unequal gender relations. cc license photo from the United Nations.

Blessed are those with open eyes and open hearts. Women of the Flower Hmong hill tribe in Cau Cau, Vietnam. Vietnamese women are particularly susceptible to be trafficked due to unequal gender relations. cc license photo from the United Nations.

Blessed are they who have survived, for they will show us courage and hope and dare us to be their voice. –Sister Jeanne Christensen, United States

Blessed are those who see anew the pain of the world and respond with compassionate action. –Sister Catherine Gibbons, Volunteer Global Action

Blessed are those who never, ever give up on God’s promise of fullness of life and freedom from oppression, exploitation and violence, for they shall be our mercy, our action for justice and our hope. –Sister Aine O’Connor, Mercy Global Concern at the United Nations

Blessed are the poor and vulnerable, for they will become co-creators with our God, transforming our torn and fractured world of human trafficking one moment at a time. Sister Margie Taylor, Newfoundland

Blessed are the dispossessed and enslaved, for in time they will know the depths of freedom and belonging. –Sister Denise Boyle, FMDM, Mercy Global Action in Dublin, Ireland

Blessed are the parents who have lost their children through trafficking, for they will be comforted. –Sister Carole McDonald, Australia

Blessed are those who promote the Oneness of our Universe and understand the intimate relationships of earth, humanity and the heavenly kingdom; from this understanding, there will be no more trafficking. –Sister Mary Ryan, Ireland

Blessed are those with open eyes and open hearts; they are the ones who connect us. –Sister Ruth Kilcullen, Ireland

Blessed are those who have family and friends who get lured into being trafficked and can do nothing to make the struggle end for them, for they will be Mercy-ed. –Pat Zerega, Mercy Investment Services

Blessed are the poor who joyfully accept deprivation for the strengthening of faith in God’s providence, for theirs is the fulfillment of God’s mercy in their midst. –Sister Carmela Cabactulan, Philippines

Eradicating human trafficking is a top priority for the Sisters of Mercy in the 40+ countries where we live and serve. Read more about our efforts.

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