Reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jan. 29, 2023
by Ann O’Connor, Notre Dame Associate
GOSPEL READING: MATTHEW 5:1-12
The beatitudes introduce the Sermon on the Mount, a collection of Jesus’ teachings.
The beatitudes are not so much about what we do, our actions, but the way we live, our way of being. They are less about actions and more about relationships. To live the beatitudes is to live a life of love for God and our neighbor. The only reason we can do that is because we know and trust ourselves to have already been blessed by God. We live the beatitudes as a response to God blessing us.
The beatitudes are not simply Jesus’ helpful hints for happy living.
The Beatitudes offer formulas for what constitutes blessedness—not good fortune or prosperity or personal achievement, but rather being surrounded by faith as an individual and as a community. The beatitudes describe people who have faith and will inherit a place in the kingdom of God. We don’t start perfectly, courageously, and consistently displaying these qualities of poor in spirit, meek, mourning and so forth. As we grow in faith, we grow in these qualities.
We need to follow the ways of God and not the ways of this world, and we will be blessed. To find true blessing, we must seek Jesus and His ways.