January 29, 2017 - 4th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Zep 2: 3; 3: 12- 13 / 1 Cor 1: 26- 31 / Mt 5: 1 - 12a
FROM THE 1ST READING: Zep 2: 3
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.
FROM THE 2ND READING: 1 Cor 1:27- 29
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 things that are, so that no mortal may boast before God.
FROM THE GOSPEL READING: Mt 5:2 - 12a
Then Jesus 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."
All of us are in search of happiness and the society around us offers different formulae. A long-term research at Harvard University across generations revealed that 80% of young people seek happiness in wealth and possessions; 50% seek to find happiness in popularity or fame. A great majority strive for achievements in life. But experience has shown us that the attainment of these goals does not bring us the happiness we seek. They still leave us feeling empty.
We feel that, if we have this or that, we would be happy. If I get accepted to my favorite school, I will be happy. If I get that job, I will be happy. If I win the lotto, I'd be happy. If I marry that charming girl (or that rich guy!), I'd be happy.
Though our society offers us many formulae for happiness, in the end, we are not really happy. We are not satisfied. We find that, once we achieved what we have desired, we still find ourselves empty. We do not find the happiness we are looking for.
In the Beatitudes in the Gospel reading today, Jesus gives us his instructions for a happy life. Jesus gives us the specific things we need to do to get the most of living our faith and live a really good life.
The God who loves us and calls us to discipleship is a God of surprises. God does not act in the way we would expect. God chooses to work through the poor and the meek, the peacemakers, the sorrowing and those who are powerless.
Today's first reading, from the prophecy of Zephaniah, affirms the surprising ways in which God works. Zephaniah condemns the wealthy and powerful of his day for their immorality and corruption Only the anawim, the poor and humble of the land who follow God's command, may be spared from the terrible judgment.
Happiness is in what you are, not in what you have. It does not matter if you are sickly or healthy, rich or poor, strong or weak, a basketball wonder or a computer wizard, have crooked teeth or stunning beauty. Being a follower of Christ gives you the grace and the opportunity to be happy now.
The Beatitudes challenge us to take God and each other seriously. What they give us are specific actions and attitudes, concrete ways of living the Gospel in the ordinary situations and challenges of our lives. They are ideals and goals that point to the path of holiness and true happiness.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
AL REY L. MOLINA
CHRISTINE JOY LATOSA
IN MEMORIAM (+)
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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