Sunday Soundbite for January 29, 2023

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle A
January 29, 2023

Whenever I hear this Sunday’s Gospel–the Beatitudes–I’m reminded of an experience I had many years ago. A young couple that I knew suffered the loss of their first child. They asked me to help them plan the funeral Mass. As we prayed in sadness and grief, my friends recalled that at their wedding, they had chosen this same reading from Matthew: the Beatitudes. “When we were married,” they reminded me, “we wanted to proclaim to the world that we were entering into a sacrament that brought us into union with God.” The Beatitudes expressed for them the ideals and hopes they had as Christian partners in marriage.

With the death of their child they realized that their commitment had taken on a much more profound meaning. They were still witnessing to their relationship with God, but now that relationship was understood in a much deeper, much richer way. God stood with them in their grief and gave them strength to bear their loss. And so they chose the Beatitudes for the funeral Mass.

Jesus proclaims that our suffering, our poverty, our grieving can make us “blessed.” Our search for justice, our acts of mercy and peacemaking, our humility, make us “blessed.” Let’s rejoice this weekend to hear the Lord say, “Blessed are you…rejoice and be glad!”

Pause and Pray

1 thought on “Sunday Soundbite for January 29, 2023”

  1. I am a student of the truth. The truth can be a severe taskmaster. For that reason, if someone says something about me that is not true, I don’t care. If they say something about me that is true, then I have to ask, is that so? That’s the reason I don’t get angry with lies or slander, because I only want to know the truth. The truth is my friend. It has also been said that the truth can hurt, but again, is it true?

    Lies can hurt too. But why? Why do lies hurt? Because no one likes to be slandered? One’s reputation can be, oh, so important at times. It’s amazing how vain we can all be. But remember, if it’s not true, just grit your teeth and bide your time.

    I remember when I was in high school and introduced to the rosary for the first time by a neighbor. I noticed that the first joyful mystery bead symbolized the annunciation, for the “love of humility.” I’ve never forgotten that bit of wisdom. It has gotten me through many a trial.

    So, what kind of person was Jesus? He was a simple man. May we all learn to be like Him. Simple is good. Simplicity is elegance. So, what did Jesus say nonverbally? “Keep it simple, stupid, keep it simple.”

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