Jan. 29, 2017 - 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
The Beatitudes describe for us a God who is alive and active in the world. When we witness division and hatred, it can be difficult to remember that God is present. So where do we find this God who is active and alive?
Jesus says that we find God in the poor in spirit. Who are the poor in spirit? Perhaps those who are depressed or feeling down are poor in spirit. Or maybe it is those who have lost the will to go on.
It can also be those of us who have a poor self image or who haven’t learned to love and accept ourselves. God is with those who are poor in spirit and gives them the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus tells us that we find God in those who mourn. Those who mourn are deeply afflicted with a loss that has the power to overwhelm.
When I think of my high school friend who was murdered thirty years ago I am still overcome with grief and a deep sense of loss. God is with us in such moments to comfort us.
Jesus says that we find God in those who are meek. The meek are often taken advantage of by the strong. The meek can seem like losers, but Jesus says that justice will be theirs in the end and they will inherit the land.
Jesus tells us that God is among those who hunger and thirst for justice. Those who see injustice in the world and struggle to correct it reveal God’s presence in our midst.
Saint Paul says God chooses the foolish, the weak, the lowly. So when we look towards those that the world seems to despise, it is there that we see God alive in the world.
By giving us the Beatitudes, Jesus has told us what we need to do if we want to bring God into the world.
Jesus says that God moves and works among those who show mercy. When we act with mercy toward others, God is at work in us and through us. Our acts of mercy are Godly acts.
Jesus says that God moves and works among those who are clean of heart. The clean of heart are pure. The clean of heart are innocent. If we act with honesty, kindness, and integrity, we show that God is alive and working in our world.
Jesus says that God moves and works among those who bring peace. We reveal God when we encourage forgiveness and reconciliation and when we model that same forgiveness in our own lives.
Jesus says that God moves and works among those who are persecuted, those who carry the cross with Jesus. God is with the weak and the powerless. God is on the side of the poor.
God is always on the side of those who have no one to defend them. God is always on the side of those who seek justice and are pure of heart.
If this is where God is found, it is also where we should be found. We should be on the side of justice, walking with the poor, the weak, the defenseless and the persecuted.
Zephaniah the prophet tells us to seek the Lord, to seek justice, to seek humility.
When we seek, we find a God who is truly active in our lives, a God who is not dead, a God who is truly alive in our world.