Prepare to Listen. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Prayerfully Read Matthew 5:7-8
7Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
The words pure and purity, as John Dear notes, set off alarms. Some equate it with rigid perfectionism that has little room for mercy towards those who don’t live according their moral standards. Others focus on sexual abstinence, which, while good, can become oppressive, rather than life giving. But here it is, out of the mouth of Jesus: Happy are the pure in heart. Perhaps Dear is correct, “This Beatitude alone is worth a lifetime of study, a lifelong spiritual search.”
The first word to focus on is heart. This isn’t an external purity governed by adherence to some moral code. It’s about the heart, that place that governs all our living. Jesus, following in the tradition of his Jewish heritage, has a lot to say about the heart, from which both good and evil come. When the psalmist asked, Who will see God? the answer was, “Those who have clean hands and pure hearts” (Ps 24:4).
Therefore, we must reflect on what it means to have a pure heart. Transparency is what came to my mind. The pure in heart are governed by integrity, a singlemindedness that frees them from inner division. They possess a desire for truth, they do not, “lift up their soul to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully” (Ps 24:4). They are utterly sincere. A pure heart influences both our spiritual and public life—whom we support and vote for; our relationships with those who are different to us. In other words, we will never be the same again when we are pure in heart. And we will see God, one day.
If this beatitude involves a lifelong study and spiritual journey, how can you begin this study and journey today?
Respond in Prayer
Jesus, your words aren’t for the faint of heart. Give me strength to keep my heart pure so that I see you. Amen.
Live Obediently. Seek truth and singlemindedness.
 Dear, John. The Beatitudes of Peace. New London, CT: Twenty-third Publications. 2016, p. 80.
 “And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying….” (v2, King James Version.)
 Dear, 2016, p. 79.  See Mt 12:34; 15:8.
Despite having frequently read and taught Matthew's Gospel, preparing these daily devotions, taking that second gaze, has surprised me with newness.