Scripture Reflection . . .
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13
Responsorial Psalm: 146 “Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs!”
Second Reading:1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Gospel: Matthew 5: 1-12 – Beatitudes
The Readings today are a stark contrast to the values so many in this world hold as most important. God makes it clear that humility, mercy, meekness, peacefulness, even lowliness are to be sought after rather than pride, competition, power, wealth, status, etc.
Watching the news recently I saw so clearly these contrasting values at work in the world. We see those in positions of authority and we see the unknown faces of protesters. We see those is power and we see those seeking justice, peace, and mercy.
Humility is the gift to know who we are with all of are gifts and weaknesses; to accept who we are as loved by God so that there is no need to defend and protect and be better than; no need to cover up fear with power and force. Truly humble people than are blessed with a poor spirit that allows them to have compassion and empathy; with the ability to mourn with those grieving; to be meek and merciful, to be peacemakers and to accept persecution for doing what is right and good (Matthew 5:1-12).
And amazingly, the fruit of humility is joy! “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven” (Matt. 5:12). And I might add that humility makes room for a bit of heaven on earth.
If we need a reminder about our call to humility, Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians is clear, “Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth . . . Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.”
In Our Lives as Sisters of The Holy Redeemer . . .
These Readings give us pause to each reflect on our own calling. Most of us felt unworthy to enter religious life but we knew God called us out of love. And this love was and is enough. This past week gave us many opportunities to remember our call.
One of our Sisters is attending the final session of 2 year long program that provides education and resources for Religious who companion new members. A program of this nature is certainly a call to humility and ones own call to religious life.
We gathered as a Province to deepen the promises we made at our recent Chapter in which we felt called to cultivate a culture of peace, diversity, contemplation, and simple living. We continue to pray with our Chapter theme “Drawn by Mercy, Clothed in Love, Sent to Heal.”
Another Sister is transitioning to a new ministry. She has responded in faith to the ministry of inviting new members and will begin this week. Thank you, Sr. Kim!
We enjoyed a surprise birthday party for one of our Sisters as she celebrated 70 years of life. She entered the community at 18 so we also rejoice in her call to our community all these years. Happy Birthday and congratulations, Sr. Ellen!
A Sister’s illness and hospitalization called us to be with her to comfort, encourage and pray. We were reminded of our Foundress’ gift and invitation to see Christ in those who are are struggling and weak in any way.
In Your Life . . .
The following prayer was at the conclusion of the Prayers of Intercession on Sunday. Perhaps you will feel called to make it your own prayer for this week.
God of justice, we, who are bombarded by society’s call to be successful, pray that we may be able to live humbly and justly. Give us the courage to closely examine our lives and to respond to the call to live for others instead of ourselves. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings on your week!