Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
February 20, 2024

Ordinary Time

For a large part of the liturgical year, we devote ourselves to listening to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects unfolded as we seek God's truth and understanding.

Sunday Readings and Backgrounds

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I : Zephaniah 2:3, 3:12-13

Seek justice. Seek humility.

  • In the First Reading, Zephaniah announces that the humble of the earth will find shelter on the Day of the Lord.
  • The prophet Zephaniah preached at a time of great turmoil.
  • This reading asserts that the humble and lowly are the hope for the future.

Reading II : 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

God chose those whom the world considers absurd.

  • In 1 Corinthians, Paul tries to convince the Corinthians that their significance comes from God, and that their power is the power of the cross.
  • The Corinthians, who accepted the Gospel eagerly, then began to try to outdo each other in importance, even in their Christian faith.
  • Paul challenges the Christian community to rely, not on human power, but on God alone.

Gospel : Matthew 5:1-12a

The Beatitudes

  • Today’s Gospel begins the Sermon on the Mount, a collection of Jesus’ sayings describing the qualities of his followers.
  • The way righteousness is described in today’s reading is through a traditional Hebrew form called Beatitude. Beatitudes simply declare that someone is happy or blest.
  • The list in Matthew’s Gospel is surprising, however. The poor and suffering were not ordinarily described as happy.