Newsletter- 4th Week of Ordinary Time
Today on the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time we hear as our Gospel Reading the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which is found in Matthew’s Gospel. The form of the Beatitudes found here is not unique to Jesus. Beatitudes are found in the Old Testament, in the psalms, and in wisdom literature, for example. They are a way to teach about who will find favour with God.
We quickly note in this Gospel Reading that the people whom Jesus calls “blessed” and “happy” are not people we might normally think of as blessed or happy . . . the poor in spirit, the meek, the persecuted. This Gospel is one of reversals. Jesus’ blueprint for happiness reflects little of what the world might call happiness.
“Blessed” is sometimes translated as happy, fortunate, or favoured. In other words, Jesus is saying that divine favour is upon those who are poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who are persecuted. This news might have been welcome—and surprising—to the crowds who heard Jesus that day just as it can still surprise us today in our modern world.
The Beatitudes can be understood as a framework for Christian living. Our vocation as Christians is not to be first in this world, but rather to be first in the eyes of God. By referring to the good things that the faithful will experience, Matthew reminds us that those who act in the manner described in the Beatitudes will always find their reward with God and they will live more happily and at peace in themselves.
White Flower Appeal 2023: This weekend 28th/29th January we will have a retiring collection after all our Sunday Masses for the work of SPUC and the White Flower Appeal 2023. The Society for the Protection of Unborn children (SPUC) are currently campaigning to protect Pro-Life speech. Pro-Life witness is being restricted now more than ever before; please be as generous as you can to help SPUC defend unborn babies and their mothers. Information is available in the entrance to church from SPUC regarding the White Flower Appeal 2023.
With prayer and best wishes for you and your families during the week ahead,
Your parish priest and friend,
2023 29th January– Newsletter – Download