January 29, 2023
Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time

Zephaniah 2:3;3:12-13
Psalm 146
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Matthew 5:1-12a

Preferential Option for the Poor Part of Stewardship

The prophet Zephaniah, speaking for the Lord, addresses the people of Israel. They had been in troubled times since they failed to observe the call of God. They had become overconfident in themselves and neglected to see God was the driving force of any good fortune that had come to them. They were haughty as any of their former oppressors.

After their exile there would be a humble remnant that would serve and not be served. “They shall do no wrong and speak no lies; nor shall there be found in their mouths a deceitful tongue; they shall pasture and couch their flocks with none to disturb them.” Is it possible this may happen? Can humanity live in such harmony?

Let it be put this way. This is the call of God. Everyone must choose to respond to the call. Each person has responsibility. Saint Paul drives home this call of God and how and who God chooses.

God chooses the foolish, the lowly and those who count for nothing. Paul gives the reason for this. God uses such people to inform and put into place those who either do not recognize His call or who decide not to heed it. It is to “reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God.” It is due to God, not our own volition, that humankind is blessed in any way.

Over the centuries God’s Church has come to better discern and understand God’s call.

We have discerned God has a preferential option for the poor. It is an enlightenment most expounded in the 20th century and into this one. It is the social justice teaching of the Church.

This “preference” has always been a concern for God. However, it is Pope Leo XIII who first formalizes the call in official teaching. Pope Leo XIII writes of this in his encyclical Rerum Novarum. In the letter he says capital must serve labor. Providing work is the function of an economy, for labor gives dignity to humankind. Labor takes precedence over capital and technology along with a just wage and the rights of workers. Economic justice is the key to contemporary social questions.

In 1968 Father Pedro Arrupe, who was the superior of the Jesuits coined the phrase, “preferential option for the poor”. This concept that is a thread throughout the Scriptures and Tradition of Christianity is based in Biblical texts such as Matthew 25.

Saint John Paul II (1991) in Centesimus Annos connected spiritual poverty with material poverty. Pope Benedict XVI said preference for the poor is an obligation of Christians. It includes all the marginalized of society. This includes widows, children, people with disabilities, victims of oppression and more.

There are plenty of reasons for suffering in the world. We see it and we experience it. It does make us uncomfortable. None of us likes seeing another person be down and/or in distress. The sight awakens us all too well we are the next one who may suffer the same way. Even a very wealthy person may lose all he or she has. Or, as my running buddy Abe always points out, “you can have lots of money but no good health. So, what good is the money?”

As a community of faith, let us always be alert and aware of each other’s needs. Many people here are so aware and do work for justice. Let us pray God will always make available whatever is needed by us to serve others. Let the words we read in the prophet be true for us, “…they shall pasture and couch their flocks with none to disturb them.”

Let us keep our preference for the poor.

Peace and Blessings,
Father Bob


Father Bob's Video Reflections

Each week Father Bob records his Video Reflection. The videos from Father are a somewhat intimate talk and produced as an additional resource to help understand Sundays Scripture readings, just as the bulletin contains a written version. These added resources are not meant to replace attending Sunday Liturgy. We must still come together to experience the fulness of God’s Love and grace for us is in the Sacraments.

Please take the time to watch Fathers video, as well as finding time to join us on Thursday evenings, at 7:00 pm for Scripture Sharing. Doing so will help you gain a greater understanding of each weeks Mass.

See a complete collection of all Video Reflections


Make time During the day....

Image
1. Thanksgiving. As you awake give thanks for life, relative health, the day, etc. Just express gratitude.
2. Pray for Insight. As your day gets going such as arrival at school or at work pray for direction, wisdom, and discernment from God. Ask that God guides you through the day and that He enlightens you.
3. “Where Is God?” After Lunch reflect on what has occupied your mind during the morning. How have you been asked to act based on how God has guided you up to this point. This will give direction for the rest of the day.
4. Petitions. Look at the day’s experiences and ask God’s grace to touch all the day’s situations. For example, what people entered into your life that can use God’s love?
5. Reflection and resolution. What elements of the day gave glory to God? What do you need to do tomorrow to give glory to God? In what way can you reform what you did today to do so?

Whatever you do to pray, be persistent.

Image

Sacraments of Christian Initiation

Sacraments of Healing

Sacraments of Service


ImageImage

Click on the links below for more information

ADOM
Image
Image
Image
Image

This Weeks Readings


Reading 1
Zep 2:3; 3:12-13
Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth,
who have observed his law;
seek justice, seek humility;
perhaps you may be sheltered
on the day of the LORD's anger.

But I will leave as a remnant in your midst
a people humble and lowly,
who shall take refuge in the name of the LORD:
the remnant of Israel.
They shall do no wrong
and speak no lies;
nor shall there be found in their mouths
a deceitful tongue;
they shall pasture and couch their flocks
with none to disturb them.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10
R. (Mt 5:3) Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs!
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs!
The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers.
R. Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs!
The fatherless and the widow the LORD sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs!

Reading 2
1 Cor 1:26-31
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.
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.
It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus,
who became for us wisdom from God,
as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,
so that, as it is written,
"Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord."

Alleluia
Mt 5:12a
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad;
your reward will be great in heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel
Mt 5:1-12a
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven."

Scripture Readings for:

February 5, 2023
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading the Bible in order to
deepen our relationship with Jesus.
It is important to read the Bible in order to understand our Catholic faith better and be able to pass it on to others. It is important to read the Bible in order to live holy Christian lives.

Spending time reading the upcoming weeks scripture will enhance you experience at Mass.

The Jesus
Prayer

Image
Lord Jesus Christ have Mercy on me
a Poor Sinner.