Breaking Open the Word
By James Cavanagh
Jan. 30: Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time
In the second reading Paul reminds us that “not many are powerful; not many are of noble birth” but God has chosen “the lowly and despised of the world” to confound those who are “something.” Paul himself is an example of how God uses those that the world considers worthless and foolish to accomplish extraordinary things.
In this week’s Gospel we hear the Beatitudes, which are a kind of preamble to the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7). For the next several weeks, we’ll hear more from this sermon. The first Beatitude is perhaps the most important. It both reflects and deepens the first commandment which says “I am the Lord your God; you shall have no other gods but me” (Ex 20:2). It deepens it by showing the interior disposition that should accompany the external act. Everything that follows in the Sermon on the Mount, indeed the whole Christian life depends on this first and fundamental lesson.
Key verse: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:2).
Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Pope Benedict XVI:
James Cavanagh is director of Evangelization and Catechesis for Metro-Area Parishes of the Denver Archdiocese. For information on subscribing to "Breaking Open the Word, click here. For archives click here.