The Merriam Webster dictionary defines an attitude as ‘a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state.’ A person will always have an attitude(s) about this, that and everything.  Attitudes will shape how we perceive another person and how they perceive us. What we do in life and how we act are influenced by our attitudes. Attitudes can be positive or negative. Good attitudes lead to good behaviour, a ‘good way of being in the world’.

For example, take the attitude of hate and love, Nelson Mandela states, ‘No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than it’s opposite.’

Today if my attitude is tolerant, caring and co-operative, I might in solidarity with Pope Francis’ invitation and the people of the world, stop and bow my head at 1.00 p.m. in our time zone and pray for peace.


Today’s Gospel (Mt 5:1-12) may be heard proclaimed via the webcam or read from the New Testament.

The Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel begins with the Beatitudes. Jesus teaches the people about the attitudes and values that are characteristic of God’s Kingdom. Jesus offers a list of these attitudes and values in the Beatitudes (Mt 5: 3-12). These are for lifelong learning, reflection and prayer.

When Jesus first taught the Beatitudes they were countercultural in the society in which he lived. Though still counter to our twenty first century culture; to live according to the Beatitudes, as taught by Jesus, promises joy, freedom and happiness, though not without suffering.

Pope Francis says that the Beatitudes ‘clearly run counter to the way things are usually done in our world’ (Gaudete et Exsultate, no. 65). In the Beatitudes, the attitudes that disciples are called to implant in their hearts are outlined. One cannot acquire these attitudes on their own, but by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus taught the apostles attitudes by word and action: dependence on God, by being dependent on God; humility, by being humble; gentleness, by being gentle; purity of heart, by being pure of heart; mercy, by showing mercy; peace, by advocating peace; and suffering, by enduring the suffering in the cause of justice. Jesus wanted the disciples to understand that living by such values would make them free to love and serve God and one another.

Jesus encourages the disciples to be happy, joyful, free and blessed by living in relationships of love and respect and doing what God asks.  Jesus gave the apostles the new commandment of love and the Beatitudes to help them build the Kingdom of justice in the reality of their lives.

Let us reflect on the Beatitude of peace, as Pope Francis invites the world to make a gesture of peace, ‘Happy are those who work for peace; they will be called children of God.’

As we listen to the Beatitudes proclaimed today, we reflect in the first reading on the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 17: 1-6) a man of faith who was obedient to God’s word and acted ‘without waiting for others to begin’. God protected Elijah from the drought.  So each one is invited personally to live in obedience to the attitudes and values of the Beatitudes for the sake of the Kingdom of God.


There is much for children to ponder on today in Grow in Love.

The lessons on the Beatitudes are taught to the children in the context of the theme of Social Justice and Morality in Grow in Love Fifth Class/P7 and Sixth Class. In the Beatitudes (Be +attitude), Jesus outlined for his disciples the attitudes by which he desired them to live. They are at the heart of Jesus’ teaching; like a beacon of light which reflect the attitudes, the lifestyle and the way forward for those who follow Jesus. Disciples follow Jesus and he remains with them to the end of time. On earth, disciples are called to know, love and serve God and one another.

By reflecting on their personal attitudes, it is hoped that children would desire to develop the attitudes that Jesus identified in the Beatitudes; and they would respond to Jesus’ call to justice.

Through their study of the Beatitudes; children recognise the values and attitudes that Jesus teaches them; identify a personal set of values and attitudes in the light of the Beatitudes; and engage critically with the Beatitudes, The Ten Commandments and the New Commandment in their daily lives. They explore what it means to be a Christian today in the light of the Beatitudes.

The children engage in journal activities and assignments particularly on the theme of attitude, to help them to a deeper knowledge in their relationship with Jesus. They take moments of silence to reflect on the Beatitudes. In prayer, they recognise the power of God, as the psalm today reminds them, ‘My help will come from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.’ (Psalm 120:2).

Resources are accessible, including the Fifth Class/P7 and Sixth Class Children’s Grow in Love e-book to accompany the lessons, ‘Jesus Teaches Us the Beatitudes’ and ‘God has Given Us Free Will’.  Online videos and interactive activities may be helpful.

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READ from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé

‘The New Commandment’ (Jn 13:34), ‘The Beatitudes’ (Mt 5:3-13), ‘The Woman Caught in Adultery’ (Jn 8:1-11).

SING:  ‘The Beatitudes’, ‘God has Given Us the Earth’, ‘Where Your Treasure Is’, ‘Make A Good Choice’, ‘Christ Be Our Light’.

PRAY with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé

THE BEATITUDES (Matthew 5:3-12)

Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor;

The kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

Happy are those who mourn;

God will comfort them.

Happy are those who are humble;

they will receive what God has promised.

Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires;

God will satisfy them fully.

Happy are those who ar merciful to others;

God will be merciful to them.

Happy are the pure in heart;

They will see God.

Happy are those who work for peace;

they will be called the children of God.

Happy are those who are persecuted because they do

what God requires;

the kingdom of God belongs to them.

Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers.

Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven.


‘Blessed be the Lord, for he has visited us and freed us.’ (Benedictus antiphon).

‘Let my soul proclaim your greatness forever, O my God.’ (Magnificat antiphon).

‘My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.’ (Psalm 120:2).

‘The Beatitudes are like a Christian’s identity card. So if anyone asks, “What must I do to be a good Christian?” the answer is clear. We have to do, each in our own way, what Jesus told us on the Sermon of the Mount.’ (Gaudete et Exsultate, no. 63).

St Colman, please pray for us.

‘O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.’


Sr Anne Neylon