February 13, 2022 Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Welcome Father Martin Today’s Readings: Jer 17:5-8 | 1 Cor 15:12, 16-20 | Lk 6:17, 20-26

###”Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.”

[…] For the most part, beatitudes were an ancient formula that encouraged people to do good. For instance, in our Responsorial Psalm we read, “Blessed is the one who does not take the wicked for his guide, nor walks the road that sinners tread.”

Psalm 41 says, “Blessed are those who consider the poor. The Lord will deliver them in time of trouble.” Jeremiah 17 has “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, … he is like a tree planted [next to] water that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green.”

Beautiful and numerous are the beatitudes in Hebrew scriptures. They say that if you do this or that good thing, you will receive blessings. Thus, people were not surprised that Jesus used them in his teaching.

But he does seem to have reversed them!

Blessed are you if you do the deed of suffering. What do you mean? Am I supposed to seek to be penniless and sorrowful and in pain?

Why would he encourage us to be in such terrible states?

Through history there have been many opinions on this reversal, but your author has his own guess, and here it is. A person has to be open and empty in order to let God and others come in. In order to love and be loved we need to have space at the center of who we are.

Jesus shows us how.

Consider a rich person who “has everything.” Isn’t she tempted to let her possessions define who she is? “Attack my home and you attack me,” she might say. Possessions become an “instead of.” Instead of love I choose something more stable (so it looks): cars or households or corporations or just plain power. Instead of eating as much as we need, each North American who goes to a restaurant orders enough for five people! Would you like another order of French fries, the waiter asks after we have already finished a steak the size of a serving plate and a triple order of fries (so it seems).

Be sure that the principle running through all the beatitudes is this: you are blessed if you don’t cram yourself full. Full of food, drink, pride, drugs, fame, sex, visits to the beach, stunning hair-do’s, flattest abs, shiny teeth, fast cars, every kind of wealth, and of course reputation, reputation, reputation.

Instead, blessed are you if you try to stay empty, if you become a spacious home for God, for other human beings, for the long-suffering earth.

We are built to be quiet receivers, people who know they feel empty and yet are patient.

There is only one reality, only one Being who can give us the bread of life, who can satisfy our deep capacity for love. Don’t you want to welcome that being into your soul instead of flying around at fastest pace having fun, fun, fun?

Blessed are you if you let go into his arms.

Source of reflection: © 2022, John B. Foley, SJ - https://liturgy.slu.edu/6OrdC021322/reflections_foley.html Source of image: JESUS MAFA. The Sermon on the Mount, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48284 [retrieved February 13, 2022]


  • 13 February - As of past Wednesday, “contact tracing” is no longer part of the official Covid regulations, i.e. churchgoers do no longer have to fill out data forms when attending mass. The obligation to wear an FFP2 mask during mass remains, as well as the other rules of our hygiene protocol.