4th Sunday in Ord. Time - Year C - 3rd February 2019
Pope Francis in his pastoral letter quotes 'Rejoice and be Glad' (Gaudete et Exultate) and speaks about the call to holiness for everyone in today's world. He describes the eight beatitudes as the Christian identity card.
(MT 5: 3-12)
7th Beatitude - "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God"
Paragraph 87 - This beatitude makes us think of the many situations of war in the world. Yet we ourselves are often a cause of conflict or, at least, of misunderstanding.
Paragraph 88 - Peacemakers truly 'make' peace. They build peace and friendship in society. To those who sow peace, Jesus makes this magnificent promise: "They will be called children of God"
Paragraph 89 - It is not easy to 'make' this evangelical peace, which excludes no-one but embraces those who are a bit odd, troublesome or difficult, demanding, different, beaten down by life or, simply, uninterested.
Sowing peace all around us; that is holiness.
8th Beatutude - "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven".
Paragraph 90 - Jesus Himself warns us that the path He proposes goes against the flow, even when making us challenge society by the way we live and, as a result, becoming a nuisance. He reminds us how many people have been, and still are, persecuted because they struggle for justice, because they take seriously their commitment to God and to others.
Paragraph 94 - Jesus calls us blessed when people "utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account" (MT 5:11), other times persecution can take the form of jibes that try to caricature our faith and make us seem ridiculous accepting daily the path of the gospel, even though it may cause us problems; that is holiness.
Paragraph 96 - In this call to recognise Him in the poor and suffering, we see revealed the very heart of Christ, his deepest feelings and choices which every saint seeks to imitate.
Fr. Ray Armstrong C.M.