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Sunday, February 3, 2002

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4th Sunday Ordinary Time

Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Psalm 146
Matthew 5:1-12

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how to be blessed

"How blest are..." —Matthew 5:3

God our Father wants to bless us His children constantly, and He wants us to be a blessing (see Gn 12:2-3). "Blessing" is not a generic term for any kind of happiness. A blessing is a specific work of God. It means God speaking and thereby creating. For example, "God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light" (Gn 1:3).

To receive God's blessings, His "word-creations," we need to make eight decisions. We  must choose:

  1. voluntary poverty (see Mt 5:3), that is, to live below our means in some way,
  2. sorrow for sin (see Mt 5:4),
  3. lowliness, humility, the strength of meekness (see Mt 5:5; see also Zep 3:12; 1 Cor 1:28; Mt 11:29),
  4. a transformation of our desires so as to hunger and thirst for righteousness (see Mt 5:6),
  5. mercy — both to give it and receive it (see Mt 5:7),
  6. total, single-hearted, pure commitment to the Lord (see Mt 5:8),
  7. peacemaking (see Mt 5:9), even at the cost of suffering (see Col 1:20), and
  8. redemptive suffering by being persecuted (see Mt 5:10) in the pattern of Jesus' death (Phil 3:10).

A life of blessing is being handed to us. To reach out and take it, we must choose to take up daily the cross of Jesus (see Lk 9:23). Choose to be blessed.

Prayer:  Father, bless me "real good."

Promise:  "He has made Him our Wisdom and also our Justice, our Sanctification, and our Redemption." —1 Cor 1:30

Praise:  Praise Abba, Who raised Jesus from the dead! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Beatitudes.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001