Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, 29th January 2023

How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

Today’s readings tell us what we need to follow Christ and become more like him. Getting our priorities right in God’s eyes may not be easy, nor is it always the way of the world, but it will bring happiness in God’s kingdom.

At the beginning of his Sermon on the Mount (Gospel), Jesus teaches the Beatitudes, which focus on the qualities he expects his disciples to have. They are not ‘rules’ like the commandments, more a road map for discipleship, laying out the way to follow him. Jesus is calling us to learn what it really means to be ‘glad and rejoice’ – in him alone.

The Beatitudes are a restatement of the values mentioned in the First Reading. The Lord will protect those living honest and just lives: people of integrity and humility.

The Psalmist sings of the Lord’s faithfulness and kindness, praising God for his care of ‘those who are oppressed’: the hungry, the imprisoned, the blind and the stranger.               

St Paul reminds the Corinthians (Second Reading) why they have been chosen by God. Their gift of faith is entirely due to God’s generosity: in God they have found wisdom, holiness and freedom.

This week, we may pray to recognise all the blessings the Lord has given us, so that we might walk more closely with Jesus in his work, just as he walks with us in our lives.
We continue to remember those suffering in war and conflict in Ukraine and beyond.