Gospel Reflection: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

JANUARY 29, 2017

THE FOUTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

ALLELUIA

Rejoice and be glad;

your reward will be great in heaven.

ALLELUIA

 

A READING FROM THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST.  MATTHEW 5: 1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.   He began to teach them, saying:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of meRejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD

 

REFLECTION

This weekend the Liturgy of the Word begins with a firm command and strong encouragement from the Book of the Prophet Zephaniah: Seek the Lord …seek justice, seek humility!

Everyone needs, on a daily basis to be encouraged to Seek the Lord above all else.  So many responsibilities and desires make demands on our time and resources.  Therefore, as each day begins we need to hear that our first responsibility and desire must be to humbly seek God and His justice.   In this vain, the Ten Commandments help by instructing us to place NO faith or confidence in strange gods or their names, and to worship the Lord alone, and to treat all with justice that is rooted in the Wisdom of God!

Last week our Gospel according to Saint Matthew ended with: Jesus went around all of Galilee  …  proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom….    Jesus’ proclamation is in harmony with the Prophet Zephaniah’s exhortation to seek the Lord and His justice because the Kingdom is truly God’s Kingdom, and the Kingdom is a Kingdom of God’s Justice.

In today’s Gospel, for the welfare and well being of His disciples, Jesus consolidates and proclaims anew all the Wisdom of God found in the Law and the Prophets of the Old Testament.  Like Moses Jesus ascends a mountain to teach, but unlike Moses, Jesus is the Incarnate Wisdom and Word of God.   Jesus rightly assumes the position of Divine Teacher and proclaims the very essence and building blocks of the Kingdom of God.  Jesus gives us the Beatitudes, the blessed and holy ways of God.  The Beatitudes are not theoretical theorems; the Beatitudes are God’s very way of life.  When one lives the Beatitudes, one lives the way God lives – one lives the Gospel!

The Beatitudes are the humble way of living that the Prophets and Law always called for — Blessed are the clean of heart.

To live the Beatitudes, the disciple recognizes that God’s way of living is far superior to any man-conceived way — Blessed are the poor in spirit.

True disciples surrender their prideful and self-centered ways of living, and submit to the wisdom of God found in the BeatitudesBlessed are the meek.

The Beatitudes are founded on God and neighbor first — Blessed are the merciful; Blessed are the peacemakers.

The Beatitudes call for a life of self-sacrifice and complete self-giving — Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.

Disciples give themselves over completely to a life initiated and directed by God — Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.

Disciples embrace the Beatitudes‘ way of life because of their confidence in the Providence of God.  When one surrenders to God, The Lord keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry, and sets captives free, as today Responsorial Psalm attests (Psalm 146).  When one lives the Beatitudes, that disciple receives the promise of Christ Himself: Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven!

Encountering the Divine Physician, Jesus Christ (St. Luke 5: 17-26) Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com

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