Liturgy of the Sunday
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Liturgy of the Sunday

Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time Read more

Liturgy of the Sunday
Sunday, January 29

Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time

First Reading

Seek Yahweh, all you humble of the earth, who obey his commands. Seek uprightness, seek humility: you may perhaps find shelter on the Day of Yahweh's anger. But in you I shall leave surviving a humble and lowly people, and those who are left in Israel will take refuge in the name of Yahweh. They will do no wrong, will tell no lies; nor will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths. But they will be able to graze and rest with no one to alarm them.


Psalm 146


How beautiful it is to sing to the Lord.

Praise the Lord for he is good;
sing to our God for he is loving;
to him our praise is due.

The Lord builds up Jerusalem
and brings back Israel's exiles,

he heals the broken-hearted,
he binds up all their wounds.

He fixes the number of the stars;
he calls each one by its name.

Our Lord is great and almighty;
his wisdom can never be measures.

The Lord raises the lowly;
he humbles the wicked to the dust.

O sing to the Lord, giving thanks;
sing Psalms to our God with the harp.

He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares the rain for the earth,

making mountains sprout with grass
and with plants to serve man's needs.

He provides the beasts with their food
and young ravens that call upon him.

His delight is not in horses
nor his pleasure in warriors' strength.

The Lord delights in those who revere him,
in those who wait for his love.

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 1,26-31

Consider, brothers, how you were called; not many of you are wise by human standards, not many influential, not many from noble families. No, God chose those who by human standards are fools to shame the wise; he chose those who by human standards are weak to shame the strong, those who by human standards are common and contemptible -- indeed those who count for nothing -- to reduce to nothing all those that do count for something, so that no human being might feel boastful before God. It is by him that you exist in Christ Jesus, who for us was made wisdom from God, and saving justice and holiness and redemption. As scripture says: If anyone wants to boast, let him boast of the Lord.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 5,1-12

Seeing the crowds, he went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them: How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance. Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them. Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognised as children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 'Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


Matthew notes that, seeing the crowds, Jesus climbs up the mountain and starts speaking with them. Jesus proposes his idea of happiness. Already in the Psalms the believers of Israel have been instructed on the meaning of being blessed: "Blessed is he who hopes in the Lord, blessed is the man that cares for the weak, blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord." This person can call her/himself happy. Jesus continues along this line and announces that blessed are the men and women who are poor in spirit, "blessed" (which does not refer to being actually wealthy, but poor spiritually) and then blessed are those who are merciful, afflicted, meek, hungry for justice, pure of heart and persecuted for righteousness' sake and also those who are insulted and persecuted for the sake of Jesus' name. No one had never heard such words. And to us who listen to them today, these words seem far away from us and our world. They seem totally unreal. Yes, we could even say that they are beautiful words, but certainly impossible. Yet, it is not like that for Jesus. He wants for us a happiness that is true, full, and robust and which can resist the ups and downs of mood, and which is not subject to the rhythms of fashion or the requirements of consumerism. In truth, what is most dear to us is living a better, more tranquil life-and nothing more. In sum, we seek some personal well-being. We do not seek to become truly "blessed." Beatitude has thus become a foreign word that is too much, that is excessive; it is a word so strong and poignant to be too different from our often-insignificant satisfactions. The Gospel page of the Beatitudes pulls us away from a dull life towards one that is full and deeply joyful. The Beatitudes are not too high for us, just as they were not for the people who first heard them. The Beatitudes truly have a human face: that of Jesus. He embodies the Beatitudes for he is poor, meek and the hungry for justice. He is the passionate and the merciful, the one who is persecuted and put to death. Let us look and follow him and we will be blessed.

Prayer is the heart of the life of the Community of Sant'Egidio and is its absolute priority. At the end of the day, every the Community of Sant'Egidio, large or small, gathers around the Lord to listen to his Word. The Word of God and the prayer are, in fact, the very basis of the whole life of the Community. The disciples cannot do other than remain at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary of Bethany, to receive his love and learn his ways (Phil. 2:5).
So every evening, when the Community returns to the feet of the Lord, it repeats the words of the anonymous disciple: " Lord, teach us how to pray". Jesus, Master of prayer, continues to answer: "When you pray, say: Abba, Father". It is not a simple exhortation, it is much more. With these words Jesus lets the disciples participate in his own relationship with the Father. Therefore in prayer, the fact of being children of the Father who is in heaven, comes before the words we may say So praying is above all a way of being! That is to say we are children who turn with faith to the Father, certain that they will be heard.
Jesus teaches us to call God "Our Father". And not simply "Father" or "My Father". Disciples, even when they pray on their own, are never isolated nor they are orphans; they are always members of the Lord's family.
In praying together, beside the mystery of being children of God, there is also the mystery of brotherhood, as the Father of the Church said: "You cannot have God as father without having the church as mother". When praying together, the Holy Spirit assembles the disciples in the upper room together with Mary, the Lord's mother, so that they may direct their gaze towards the Lord's face and learn from Him the secret of his Heart.
 The Communities of Sant'Egidio all over the world gather in the various places of prayer and lay before the Lord the hopes and the sufferings of the tired, exhausted crowds of which the Gospel speaks ( Mat. 9, 3:7 ), In these ancient crowds we can see the huge masses of the modern cities, the millions of refugees who continue to flee their countries, the poor, relegated to the very fringe of life and all those who are waiting for someone to take care of them. Praying together includes the cry, the invocation, the aspiration, the desire for peace, the healing and salvation of the men and women of this world. Prayer is never in vain; it rises ceaselessly to the Lord so that anguish is turned into hope, tears into joy, despair into happiness, and solitude into communion. May the Kingdom of God come soon among people!