Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31.
Matthew 5:1-12A.

The Beatitudes

Our vocation as Christians is not to be first in this world, but rather to be first in the eyes of God. In the Gospel of Matthew for Sunday’s liturgy, we find a description of people who strive to be first in the eyes of God. They do this by taking as their own Jesus’ message in the Beatitudes. The beatitudes are not rules to be lived, rather they describe a way of life that all of us are called to. The Beatitudes are one way God shows God’s own love to us by calling us to a specific way of living, one filled with blessings. 

When some people read the Beatitudes, they do not see blessing. Instead, they see some painful realities that cause negative feelings or experiences. Even though these beatitudes may sound somewhat pessimistic, Jesus is encouraging his listeners to be a part of his Kingdom begun here on earth. Jesus announced his mission with a promise of happiness. “I have come that you may have joy and that your joy may be complete.”

In the Beatitudes Jesus is offering us a choice. Jesus offers abundant life, but leaves no doubt that to attain it, we have to make some significant changes in our attitudes and behaviors. For those of us who strive to be poor in spirit, who are mourning, meek, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, who are merciful, clean of heart, peacemakers, and are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, life is not always easy. We may wonder where are the blessings?

Jesus does promise that the kingdom of heaven will be ours. He promises that we will be comforted, will inherit the land, will be satisfied and shown mercy, will see God and called children of God. Jesus ends the Beatitudes when he says, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Rather than resign ourselves to our troubles, or complain about our hardships, we need to take a proactive approach toward whatever is causing us difficulty. There is something we are meant to learn or do to make things better. Pain, mental or physical, tells us, in no uncertain terms, that something has to change. Whatever it is, there is a blessing in disguise, a lesson in every suffering we endure.  

Make a commitment to internalize the Beatitudes so they become a way of life for you. Over time and in unexpected ways you will receive blessings. 

With which beatitude are you most comfortable?

With which beatitude to you most struggle?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Geri Mulligan says:

    Happy Feast Day! Thanks so much for keeping me posted. What beautiful readings this week….Enjoy the day Love, Geri

    Sent from my iPad

    Sent from my iPad >


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