learning the Beatitudes from the examples of those who have lived them out. Jesus gives us the best example of living the Beatitudes that I can imagine. Here's an excerpt:
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
The Man in the Tree
As Jesus enters Jericho during his ministry, there is a man in that city by the name of Zacchaeus. As the chief tax collector, he is wealthy.
His neighbors avoid him like the plague.
He has built his personal empire on falsely inflating his neighbors’ debts to Rome, through the years stealing from the rich as well as the poor. Zacchaeus now possessed all the Empire a man could ask for, and more. But he had never grasped the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven. He learned that the more empire he owned, the more his empire owned him. With every extension of his holdings, he became more enslaved.
He has heard there is a great man who has something Zacchaeus could never own. The man has no home, pays his taxes by means of a miracle, sleeps outdoors like the foxes, eats from the heads of wheat growing on the leavings at the edges of fields--yet is so beloved the crowds follow him everywhere he goes. Whatever he needs, God provides. This man Jesus is just the opposite of himself, it seems. Jesus lives the faith that he had never dared. If the stories are true, Jesus connects with God’s creation and with others in a way that can only make him wonder.
He has heard it is so, but being a rational man, he needs to see this Jesus for himself. So when he hears Jesus is on his way, he runs to meet the forming crowd. He’s too short to see around his neighbors. He tries to muscle his way to the front, but when they identify him, his former friends elbow him to the back. Whatever else his neighbors owe, they don’t owe him any kindness.
Still, he must see Jesus. . . . (more)