Deuteronomy 11:18, 26–28
Psalm 31:2–4, 17, 25
Romans 3:21–25, 28
This Sunday’s Gospel takes us to the end of . Remember when we read the Beatitudes on January 30th - the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time?
Before we leave these wonderful readings from the Sermon on the Mount . . . I want to share with you the Devil's Beatitudes (then onward to specifics about this Sunday's Readings!).
- Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, or too distracted to go to Mass - they are my best workers.
- Blessed are those Christians who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked - I can use them.
- Blessed are those who claim they "don't get anything out of Mass" -- they honor me by default.
- Blessed are the touchy who stop going to church - they are my missionaries.
- Blessed are those who need to be entertained at church - they are putty in my hands.
- Blessed are the troublemakers - they shall be called my children.
- Blessed are the complainers - I'm all ears to them.
- Blessed are those who are bored with the priest or deacon's mannerisms and mistakes - for they get nothing out of his homily.
- Blessed is the parishioner who expects be be invited to his own church - for he is a part of the problem instead of the solution.
- Blessed are those who gossip - for they shall cause strife and divisions that please me.
- Blessed are those who are easily offended - for they will soon get angry and quit.
- Blessed are those who do not give their offering to carry on God's work - for they are my helpers.
- Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother and sister - for he shall be with me forever.
- Blessed are you who, when you read this, think that it is about other people and not yourself - I've got you too!
Now let's hone in on this week's readings with the help of Dr. Scott Hahn:
Like Moses in this week’s First Reading, Jesus climbed a mountain to deliver the Word of God’s covenant to His people (Ex 24:12–18). This covenant Word requires a great deal from us. Far more than our simple hearing and acceptance of Jesus’ “message.”
That’s because the Gospel is not a philosophy, a set of good ideas for living. It is God’s fatherly will for history. It is the good news of His kingdom, of the divine family He has come to create on earth in His Church.
~~> The Word of God comes to us as a call to the obedience of faith (Rm 16:26).
~~> We must take this Word to heart, letting it dwell richly within our souls (Col 3:16).
~~> We must allow ourselves to be led, to be guided by the Word that comes to us in His name.
Jesus is the new Solomon, bringing us the Wisdom of God (1Kings 3:10–12). And like Solomon, he builds a house of God, a Temple, on a rock of foundation (1Kings 5:17; 8:27). Jesus is the Wisdom of God made flesh. The Church is the new household and Temple of God, built on the cornerstone of Christ (Lk 7:35; Eph 2:19–22).
We will be judged by his Word. But this is not a matter of external works, as Jesus makes clear. That is Paul’s point too in this week’s Epistle. We must do the Father’s will, which is our sanctification—knowing we’ve been justified, made right before God, by Christ’s saving death (1Thes 4:3). It’s this redemption, our expiation by His blood, that we celebrate and participate in this Eucharist.
Note from Soutenus: Remember, also, that faith without works is dead.
- James 2:17
- So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
- Indeed someone might say, "You have faith and I have works." Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
- You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble.
- Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless?
- Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?
- You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works.
- Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called "the friend of God."
- See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
- And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route?
- For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.