Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Also Read: Mass Readings for 29 January 2023 Homily for 29 January 2023 – Sunday
First Reading: Zephaniah 2: 3; Zephaniah 3: 12-13
For I will leave in the midst of you a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord— the remnant of Israel; they shall do no wrong and utter no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths. Then they will pasture and lie down, and no one shall make them afraid. (12-13)
The day of the Lord seems to be fast approaching and the code that will save us is given in the scripture today. The remnant of Israel will be the ones who remain humble and tell no lies. We need God’s mighty help in walking this way.
Have mercy on us O Lord, Help us! Amen!
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 146: 6-10
The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. (7-8)
Open the eyes of our hearts, O Lord! Amen.
Second Reading: First Corinthians 1: 26-31
Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. (26)
Christ came and lived among us as a humble and vulnerable human being! He was God, He could well have chosen a more comfortable way of interacting with his people to make them easily obey His call. But He chose to give us the free will to come to him – so that once we encounter him in our weaknesses, we might turn back. There have been many world leaders who have enforced their ideologies on people, but we have seen examples of how those people have left them later on. In contrast, the Church stands as a symbol of stability and faith, for over two thousand years. Christ’s messengers have given their lives for the Gospel with love as the central commandment. Christianity still is a major religion today, with a following of 2.3 billion (ie) 31% of the world population (google search). Praise God. By human strength, we may not be able to achieve much, but in the power of the Most High God, even little shepherd boy David could defeat Goliath. (1 Samuel 17) – Because in our weakness He empowers us. (2Cor 12)
Now, we reflect on our own lives, say at least in the past year; we must find an improvement! Reading and reflecting on the scriptures daily must impact us for the better. Whenever we submit ourselves to the Lord in humility and attempt to bring glory to his name, He lifts us up with supernatural strength! We will be surprised that we were able to withstand the wiles of the devil and find it in us to praise God in the midst of the storms. This is God’s doing, no doubt! Let us be encouraged today in this realization and strengthen those in need around us. Sometimes the ones closest to us whether physically or emotionally are the ones we need to begin with. May the Lord Jesus Christ open our minds. Amen!
Gospel: Matthew 5: 1-12a
Then Jesus began to speak and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (2-3)
When we ask the Lord with all our hearts to teach us, He answers our prayer. “poor in spirit” – does it mean a servant of all? No, it means a servant of the Most High God alone and not of any human! Next, all of the beatitudes teach us great virtues. – The humble, the righteous, the merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers all have the kingdom of heaven. We have seen the saints, who during chaos around them have remained peaceful! – They experienced heaven on earth in their personal lives! In faith, they have seen God in their hearts. – To remain in the presence of God, isn’t that heaven?
We must believe the Word of God and ask for this blessed experience. We could find glimpses of this, in our daily personal prayer (our alone time) with God, if we surrender and humble ourselves before God! If we sincerely seek after the beatitude virtues, we will find him walking by our side.
In Jesus’ name, Amen!