Saturday, January 29, 2011



JANUARY 30, 2011

Readings: Zep 2:3; 3:12-13 / Ps 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10 / 1 Cor 1:26-31 /
Mt 5:1-12

ZEPHANIAH 2:3; 3:12-13
Seek Yahweh, all you poor of the land who fulfill his commands, do
justice and are meek, and perhaps you will find refuge on the day
Yahweh comes to judge. I will leave within you a poor and meek people
who seek refuge in God. The remnant of Israel will not act unjustly
nor will they speak falsely, nor will deceitful words be found in
their mouths. They will eat and rest with none to threaten them.

Brothers and sisters, look and see whom God has called. Few among you
can be said to be cultured or wealthy, and few belong to noble
families. Yet God has chosen what the world considers foolish, to
shame the wise; he has chosen what the world considers weak to shame
the strong. God has chosen common and unimportant people, making use
of what is nothing to nullify the things that are, so that no mortal
may boast before God. But, by God's grace you are in Christ Jesus, who
has become our wisdom from God, and who makes us just and holy and
free. Scripture says: Let the one who boasts boast of the Lord.

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. He sat down and
his disciples gathered around him. Then he spoke and began to teach
them: Fortunate are those who have the spirit of the poor, for theirs
is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate are those who mourn, they shall be
comforted. Fortunate are the gentle, they shall possess the land.
Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall
be satisfied. Fortunate are the merciful, for they shall find mercy.
Fortunate are those with a pure heart, for they shall see God.
Fortunate are those who work for peace, they shall be called children
of God. Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the cause of
justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate are you, when
people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil
against you because you are my followers. Be glad and joyful, for a
great reward is kept for you in God. This is how this people
persecuted the prophets who lived before you.

Candidates for public leadership are expected to propose the plat
forms of how they expect to attract voters to choose them for office.
And they hope that they will be seen to perform well according to the
platforms they have proposed. We might see in the Gospel reading of
today an introduction to the plat form of Jesus. This takes place at
the beginning of Jesus' ministry. He has become somewhat famous for
the good works that he has performed and many people were flocking
around him, hoping that they would be helped by him. And in order to
be able to do his work he has chosen certain followers as helpers. The
scene of today's gospel reading has Jesus sitting a bit apart from the
crowd, trying to explain his plat form to the disciples. It would not
be surprising if the disciples might expect that he would tell them
that their share in his work would make them feel very special, even
honored and highly esteemed by the people. Quite likely they would
expect him to tell them that they would feel blessed and happy. What
he does tell them, however, is a very unusual way of finding
themselves blessed and happy, and what he tells them is not only quite
surprising; it is also a bit shocking.

He tells them that instead of finding their blessedness and happiness
in being rich and successful, they will find blessedness and happiness
in being poor and even in being rejected and persecuted. He presents
to them a program of paradoxes. You will be blessed and happy when you
are poor. You will be blessed and happy when you mourn rather than
laugh. You will be blessed and happy not when you have worldly power
but when you are meek and humble. You will discover that you will find
satisfaction in the struggle for justice and peace and fighting for
what is right in this world.

We know that when we read and hear this message of Jesus we are
reading and hearing a message that is not just for those disciples
sitting in front of Jesus on the mountain. These are the famous
beatitudes that have been proclaimed for anyone who wants to be a real
follower of Jesus. This is the program or platform that Jesus presents
to us today. This is the program of Jesus that so captivated Gandhi
that he would say that it would really be wonderful if Christians
faithfully lived what Jesus proclaimed, if we Christians really lived
the beatitudes.

Some might say that it is unrealistic to expect many to accept this
program. And certainly it is not easy to accept. But we know that
there are men and women today who do live their lives patterned on
these beatitudes. In the past year the world has seen a number of
examples of heroic men and women in a variety of crisis situations –
earthquakes, devastating fires, horrible accidents, mine collapses,
and so forth. Yes, there are what we might call "beatitude heroes" in
our world today. But let us not think that it is only among such
"heroes" that we find the beatitudes being lived. There are among us
many who live very routine lives that show the spirit of the
beatitudes. Doctors, nurses, fire-fighters, teachers, the caregivers
who serve the elderly and the infirm, scientists searching for cures
for the seemingly incurable – all these and many more deserve our
appreciation and deep gratitude, although so many of them are quite
hidden from the limelight.

What can be seen in both the heroic beatitude people and the hidden
beatitude people is that they are people who live to a great extent
for the sake of others. To use the term coined by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
that has challenged many people today, they are "men (and women) for
others." They are people who are not looking for worldly honors and
glory. They are rather people who simply want to do good for others,
people who are concerned for the welfare of their neighbor, even at
some cost for themselves. Bonhoeffer, with so many after him, applied
the term "man for others" to Jesus Christ. Hopefully we and all
Christians will be beatitude people who are for others.

We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Rita P. Cuerva
- Ely Lara
- Julie Manzon, Lournie De Castro, Glenda Bisco
- Vicky Fabella
- Susan
… for the personal intentions of
- Titong V
- Glenn Dale Manzon, Nerissa Amora, John Manzon, Julie and Glenn
Manzon, Ma Fe. and Florante De Castro, Marichu and Churchill Barayoga,
Glenda and Joel Bisco, Mary Ann Castro, Domingo and Fedralyn Barayoga,
Estileta and Salvador Escamilla
- Cherie Torres
- Aileen and Gabriel
…In Thanksgiving:
- Manzon Family
- Barayoga Family
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Edward Lam
- Gabriella Wong
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Wedding Anniversary: Oscar & Ditas Sevilla
… for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!


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