Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 30, 2011
Zeph. 2: 3, 3: 12-13
I Cor. 1: 26-31
Matthew 5: 1-12
The Gospel passage from Saint Matthew that is read at this Sunday Mass is a clear but demanding call from Christ to view and to understand everyone and everything according to the radical principles of Divine Revelation. Unless each one of us undergoes this interior change, this interior conversion, we will not understand what Jesus is asking of us.
In this context, the word “blessed,” used by Christ, means “holy,” “pleasing to God.” One who lives by these “Beatitudes” is one who has chosen to be a true follower of Jesus. Poor, sorrowful, humble, just, merciful, chaste, peaceful, persecuted and insulted are words which are not generally associated with “successful” and “promising” people.
On the contrary, many of our contemporaries, and perhaps some of us, view these terms as being applied to persons who are to be considered failures in the eyes of the world; people who are “of no account,” so to say.
Yet, Christ is asking us to re-consider, to re-evaluate, and to re-think our judgments in these matters. Looking closely at the life of Jesus of Nazareth, we would have to conclude, using these standards, that His life was a failure.
But, the contrary is true. The life of Christ was just as God the Father wanted it to be, therefore, it was perfect in God’s eyes. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta often said, when asked if she considered herself “successful,” “God does not ask us to be successful. He asks us to be faithful.”
May we have the courage to live the Beatitudes as Jesus has called us to do and may we entrust ourselves to His Mercy, to His Grace and to His Divine Providence.