The Bishops Homily – 4th Sunday In Ordinary Time

4th Sunday Ordinary Time
29 Jan. 2017
Zeph. 2:3; 3:12-13
I Cor. 1:26-31
Mt. 5: 1-12a

Introduction: This Sunday, the Church gives us the 8 Beatitudes: Jesus’ Program for Happiness/Joy. We look for all kinds of gurus who tell us how to be happy. We have the Word of God Himself today telling us.

(1) Background: Jesus, like Moses of old giving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, now gives the 8 Beatitudes at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. Like the teachers of old, Jesus sits with his students, the disciples, around listening unlike the modern teachers who speak and lecture on a podium.

(2) The Positive Program of Christian Life: Blessed are –

a) The Merciful, they will be shown mercy (Spiritual Physics). God in the N. T. is Love (Caritas) and in the O. T. is tender Mercy (Hesed).
b) The Clean (pure) of heart (Single-hearted): heart focused on God.
c) Those who hunger and thirst for Righteousness (doing God’s Will is one’s most powerful desire)
d) The Peacemakers (those who radiate Love/Mercy, not their own ego, their fears or their unhappiness)

(3) The Negative (Counter-intuitive) Formula for Detachment: Blessed are –

a) The Poor: those detached from material things or money, not a valorization of economic poverty. However, if one has wealth, that one will know how to use their wealth as means to show God’s Mercy.
b) Those who mourn: those not addicted to pleasure, not a recommendation for masochism
c) The Meek: not a recommendation to be weak but to be detached from power
d) Those persecuted: those detached from honor/glory.
Conclusion: What we have in the Beatitudes is a recommendation on the Path to happiness positively what we have to seek and negatively what we have to avoid. Pay attention to this Program of Christian Life! And one will be happy!

Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, DD
Bishop of Novaliches