May the Lord give you grace and peace in the Holy Spirit.
It is on 29th January 2023. We celebrate the Fourth Sunday of the Ordinary time. We reflect on Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13; 1 Cor 1:26-31 and Matthew 5:1-12.
AIM, CLAIM AND RECLAIM.
“People will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but live for it”, says C.C. Colton
A mother struggled to keep a little boy still and quiet during the Holy Mass. She tried every means she is familiars with. Nothing worked until she whispered to the boy something halfway through the sermon, ‘If you don’t be quiet, the preacher is going to lose his place and will have to start his sermon all over again!’ It worked!” Please do not worry, I am not going to repeat the sermon twice.
We all want to be good and perfect. Aim for spiritual poverty; claim your righteousness through humility and reclaim your happiness by believing in the providence of God.
The first reading is from Zephaniah and warns about the imminent punishment before the exile to Babylon. There was a sense of indifference as they were so contented because of the resources they accumulated through fraud and violence. They felt secure. The prophet warns the people and encourages them to seek Yahweh, righteousness and humility. Those who seek it will be saved from judgement. When God exercises judgement, God will save the Anawim, the poor suffering who had limited resources and so they put their entire trust in God.
In the second reading, St. Paul distinguishes between the world and God’s wisdom. The passage today is the continuation of the message of the Cross that confuses human minds as foolishness. What is foolishness is the power and wisdom of God. God enacts salvation for all. It neither convinced the people of the past nor the present. However, to those who have come to have personal encounters with Jesus will find Jesus is our salvation, righteousness and redemption.
The Gospel taken from Matthew is the Beatitudes. There are two dimensions of poverty. Spiritual and Material. We have two gospel writers present the Beatitudes namely Matthew and Luke. Luke has four on physical and Mathew on spiritual.
Makarios means happy. Not being comfortable and entertained but a fortunate state of life. it is a mirror of who Jesus.
We all need these marks and goals of the Christian life. Be attitudes. Poor in Spirit: relying on God, not on material things. Mourning is not casual sorrow, but it is the intense mourning before God over our fallen state. Being meek, not passive and pushed around easily but strength under control. Hunger for righteousness means fighting for justice and peace. Being Merciful refers to not only being merciful to the weak but to forgive others. Being pure means having a single undivided heart for the Lord. Being a peacemaker points out the one who trusts the Lord.
This is the radical commitment to trust the Lord even when things do not seem to go well in life. May the Lord kindly bless us to choose the wisdom of the Cross and be the Anawim of Yahweh. God bless you.