Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Call to worship

Today, Jesus reminds us that the rich and powerful are not blessed or holy. Instead, those who are lowly, humble and just are blessed in God’s eyes.

  • To the point: What identifies God’s chosen “remnant” is not wealth, possessions, or power over others but lowliness, humility, justice, and truthfulness (see first reading). Jesus elaborates God’s call to this way of living when he proclaims the Beatitudes to his disciples. Our blessedness is both a quality of who we are and a blueprint for how we are to live as followers of Jesus. We are to be the “remnant” of who carry forth God’s eternal plan for establishing a just reign.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Matthew 5: 1-12) to the First Reading: The blessings Jesus announces continue an ancient tradition reflected in the first reading: God extends protection and refuge to the “humble and lowly.”
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: When hearing these Beatitudes, many of us would not count ourselves among the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, etc. Nor do we tend to see ourselves as blessed. However, our very living of the Gospel is a revelation of our blessedness and of the presence of God’s reign.

Centering prayer

“Blessed Are You Who Bear The Light”

By Jan Richardson

Blessed are you who bear the light
in unbearable times, who testify
to its endurance amid the unendurable,
who bear witness to its persistence
when everything seems in shadow and grief.

Blessed are you in whom the light lives,
in whom the brightness blazes — your heart
a chapel, an altar where in the deepest night
can be seen the fire that shines forth in you
in unaccountable faith in stubborn hope,
in love that illumines every broken thing it finds.

Music for reflection