Homily for the fourth Sunday of the year - Year A - Mt. 5:1-12
 
 
by
 
Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 
 
" Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: «Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.» "
 
 
 
Homily:
 
 
" Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. "
 
We never tire of hearing this gospel. Each year, on the day of All Saints, we hear it proclaimed. Today, on the fourth Sunday of the year, we hear it again! Blessed are we! Happy are you, all of you who hear it today! For it is the gospel of the Beatitudes!
 
Jesus went up the mountain. This mountain, one that we call today the Mount of the Beatitudes, is not far from Capernaum. Jesus sits down and his disciples approach him in order to hear him speak, in order to hear him, the Word of God. "All that the Father gives me will come to me," Jesus will soon say (Jn. 6:37). For the Word of God has power (cf. Heb. 4:12), the omnipotence of God, the power of the Love of God, which draws all to Him!
 
" And he opened his mouth and taught them... "
 
Then Jesus opened his mouth, as Saint Matthew writes. This is his way of recounting the event, a Hebrew way. It is as if the disciples, in a fraction of a second, their eyes fixed on Jesus, no longer perceive anything other than his mouth, which opens and seems to say to their spirit: "Attention, something very important is about to take place! Be sure to remember all that you will soon be hearing with your two ears!"
 
" «Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.» "
 
Our heart is our love, or rather, it is the sign of our love. To be good-hearted is to love generously. So no one doubts that Jesus has the greatest and the best heart: his Heart is sacred! But at the same time, Jesus has the poorest Heart of all, for his Heart has but a single Love: love for his Father! So let us love solely he who is the Father of Love, and he will give us a place in his kingdom, he will give us a share in the inheritance of his own Son in Heaven!
 
" «Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.» "
 
Those who are meek never lose their temper. So they are on good terms with everyone. They are welcomed everywhere, no matter where they go. In short, it is as if the entire world belonged to them! The most important thing for them is to never get angry, even if they are treated unjustly. For they put into practice the following words of advice from the Lord: "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well." (Mt. 6:33)
 
" «Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.» "
 
Ecclesiastes says: "There is a time to weep, and a time to laugh." (Eccl. 3:4) We have the right to weep. Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus (cf. Jn. 11:35), he wept over Jerusalem (cf. Lk. 19:41). Let us weep a moment, but not like those who have no hope! Let us weep, for we are sad. But let us weep with the firm hope that we will soon be consoled by the Holy Spirit! "Do not grieve as others do who have no hope." (1 Thess. 4:13) Soon, God "will wipe away every tear from their eyes" (Rev. 21:4)!
 
" «Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.» "
 
There is the justice of God and the justice of men. The latter is always imperfect: it is not the one that will satisfy us. It is the justice of God that will fulfill our desire! It will fully satisfy us, for it is already accomplished every time the Eucharist is celebrated as we await and hope for the coming of the Lord, the living Bread who satisfies our soul and our body, in anticipation of the Judgment of God at the end of time!
 
" «Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.» "
 
May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary help us to accomplish all the things Jesus advised us to do: that is the source of true happiness! May the Mother of God be at our side each day to help us to be "blessed" (Mt. 16:17), like the Apostle Peter, even if it means being crucified upside down as he was!
 

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