“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
Meaning this: purity of heart is the last phrase we would use to describe the condition of our world.
Matthew describes the world into which Jesus came as dark. Hypocrisy, violence, deception, betrayal, slavery, divorce, broken relationships. He quotes Isaiah, “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, and those sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a Light dawned.”
Imagine hearing Jesus teach and for the first time, you hear that there is a way to experience purity of heart. Remember, this isn’t Jesus’ starting point. He started with our coming into touch with how impure our hearts are, which is what “poor in spirit” means. Our felt neediness is always where the Messiah meets us.
This blog series begins with 8-Fold Path: The Way Out of Darkness, and is excerpted from Jerry Daley’s book on the Beatitudes, entitled Following Jesus Into the Blessing.