Sunday, February 3, 2008

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

The readings for today are Zep 2:3;3:12-13, which includes the line, "Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth, who have observed his law; seek justice, seek humility,...

The Responsorial Psalm is Ps 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10, with words, "Blessed be the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs!" which anticipates the Sermon on the Mount of today's Gospel.

The Second Reading is 1 Cor 1:26-31 in which Paul continues to talk about calling and admonishes us to "boast in the Lord."

The Gospel is Mt. 5:1-12a. While the earlier readings are truncated and it is difficult to see a coherent whole, the Beatitudes are included in their entirety. The connections become clear. The poor in spirit shall inherit the kingdom of heaven; they who mourn shall be comforted; the meek shall inherit the earth, and so forth. This is one of the most beautiful passages in Scripture surely, but at a time when real troubles plague us it is difficult for the most part to relate to it.

What if we are not hungering for righteousness but for real food and drink? Not to mention heat and warm clothing? The reward of heaven may seem far off. It has seemed so for me for many years. How do we apply this to our daily lives?

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