Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel Mt 5:1-12a

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
Life of Paul, Aidan Hart with contributions from Andrew Jamieson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John's Bible, Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission.  All rights reserved.and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven."

Reflection
Through  Today is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. St. Paul of Tarsus is a saint of Christian history whose amazing life can be taken for granted because it is so well known.  We must really contemplate that he presided over the persecution and execution of Christians with great zeal and religious fervor.  That this man was on his way to arrest more Christians when Christ appeared to him and called him to preach the Gospel to the non-Jewish (or gentile) world - we must ask, why him?  Wasn't there ANY other believing Christian who could have done the job?

But we see that God does not think as humans think.  The Beatitudes from this Sunday's Gospel reading illustrate how counter to the world's way of living the Christian life is.  God calls back sinners to himself, and he surprises us again and again with how his plan of loving salvation unfolds in human history. St. Paul became the great and tireless evangelizer of his world.  (The image of St. Paul above has great urban buildings of the past and present to symbolize his global reach.) 

He is so important, that the Church sometimes simply refers to him as "The Apostle" and he has a number of feast days during the year.  Today's feast celebrates God's loving power to turn a heart set against his people, and turn it utterly and completely to his people, and to Christ himself.  Tradition says he was beheaded in Rome for the faith. Scott Salvato, Director of Campus Ministries - Molloy College




 

Life of Paul, Aidan Hart with contributions from Andrew Jamieson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John's Bible, Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

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