4th Sunday of OT year ’A’ 4e dimanche du Temps Ordinaire, année’ A’

“Blessed are the poor of heart, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Tuesday 29 November 2016

So.3,12-13 Ps.145 1 Co.26-31 Mth.5,1-12

4th Sunday of OT year ’A

"Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the mountain, sat down and his disciples came to him. Opening his mouth he began to teach, saying, ’ Blessed are the poor in heart, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." When it comes to people dying of hunger Jesus encourages neither misery nor any drama!  The word ’poor’ has a long story in the word of God. In the oldest texts, the poor person is someone who is bent over, humiliated, put down, oppressed, incapable of holding out in order to resist the powerful. The accent was put on his humiliation. Very quickly the colour of this word took on a religious connotation, whereas the oppressors appear as proud people who are hardly pious. The poor person appears as someone peaceful, placing his confidence in God and waiting for his help. The first Beatitude Jesus speaks about is for those who have a poor enough heart to be found little before God.Their hands are wide open to receive from him alone the strength of hope. Jesus’ Joy can be seen on his disciples’ face : ’Blessed’ because it is first and foremost a question of Joy coming from Jesus! The Beatitudes are the identity card of Jesus. We can decline it by showing how much Jesus is the ’poor one’! ’The son of Man has no where to lay his head.’ ’Learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart.’  We judge from outer signs that can really lead us astray, whether they be riches or whether they be poverty. God sees the heart, for we can be rich with a poor heart, and poor with a rich heart. Yet material poverty is a predisposition for poverty of the heart. "Blessed are those who weep, they shall be consoled. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall have the earth as inheritance; Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness; they shall have ther fill. Blessed are the merciful, they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers : they shall be recognised as children of God."  God loves each person as they are. Jesus didn’t say ’Blessed’ are those who are incapable, those who are afraid to live, but he said ’Blessed are the gentle.’ Blessed are those who refuse to want power and who accept to combat without abusing their strength. Blessed are they who always leave a space for others to be free and to go beyond themselves. We could read all these Beatitudes by applying them to the Body of Christ and His members. If we did so, we would find as many faces giving a meaning to each of the Beatitudes. The ’poor one’ from Assisi has become in Christ like the symbol of Lady Poverty! So many faces could unfold before our very eyes like this!  God has a special tenderness for those who are attentive to other people. A mother keeps all her treasures of patience and understanding for each of her children. The one the most fragile and weak draws all her attention. For all children in God’s Heart there is nothing but attention.   "Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of righteousness : the kingdom of Heaven is thers. Blessed are you hen people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven." It is the very gentleness of Jesus that has him say ’’ Take my burden on you and learn from me’ The freshness of the Gospel is given to us as we follow Jesus. It brings us to a realism nourished by inner truth and filial welcome of God’s work. It is made of untiring mercy towards the world. We can live it under the sign of innocence. This welcome obliges us to have a grace of conversion. ’Rejoice, be joyful.’ When we are persecuted, leads to greater heroism! Tradition has very strongly illustrated the link that united Jesus bearing his glorious Cross and the disciple, who, in following Jesus, bears also his Cross which has to become ’glorious. Paul will say ’I only want to see Jesus and Crucified Jesus, the world is crucified for me and I am someone crucified for the world!’ It really as Paul’s joy, such a deep one:

We ask for the grace to contemplate Jesus in the Beatitudes.

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