4th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A 2017

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Gospel Reflection for the 4th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A – January 29th 2017

Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available.


Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:
‘How happy are the poor in spirit;
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle:
they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn:
they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:
they shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful:
they shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart:
they shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers:
they shall be called sons of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.’

Matthew 5:1-12


The desire to be happy is in each of us; to find happiness and peace, joy and contentment in life. At different stages of life we may look for it in different ways. A child is happy to be cared for, an adolescent sometimes to be left alone, sometimes to be close to others; we may be happy in success or praise. We may look for happiness in addictive practice, in shallow relationships, thinking we are on the path to finding what we are looking for.

beatitudesJesus knows that. He speaks today of how we find happiness, how we are totally blessed. He has a view of happiness different from many others. We find ‘Jesus happiness’ in being humble, gentle and kind, accepting of loss in life, in really going for what is just and right, in being straightforward and people of integrity, and in making peace. We find happiness in putting up with different hardships, humiliations and even injustice when the cause is for God.

He lived like this himself. He could preach the ‘beatitudes’ because he lived them. Watch him at different times in his life as he practised what he preached, as also he praises the Beatitudes  in the lives of his followers.

According to Pope Francis, ‘This is the new law, the one we call ‘the Beatitudes’. It’s the Lord’s new law for us…the roadmap for Christian life which gives us the indications to move forward on the right path (Jan 6th 2016).

Lord may we know we are truly blessed only in our following of you.

Donal Neary SJ

Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger


Reflections for Year A, first published in other years in Logos Missalette, have now been published in book form:
Gospel Reflections for Sundays of Year A: Matthew, Messenger Publications 2016, €9.99

Order online at www.messenger.ie, or in Veritas and other booksellers.

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