Reflection: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Tuesday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Zep.2:3,3:12-13; Ps.145; 2nd Reading – 1Cor.1:26-31; Gospel – Mt.5:1-12]


It seems that our faith is built on future expectations, that being on earth depends on Heaven and/or Hell, that whatever we do depends on our future, that we live a “good” life because, when we die, we go to Heaven to enjoy the presence of the Lord for eternity… It seems that our way of thinking is quite different from Jesus’ way of thinking. Let us consider what message Jesus is trying to convey in today’s gospel.

We’ve already established that Jesus’ teaching is totally different from our way of thinking. Jesus starts from the opposite point of view to ours and says that the future is a consequence of the present and not the other way round. Finding ourselves (or not) in the presence of the Lord, depends on how we live our life on earth. Though we should keep in mind this “future” as a point of reference and arrival, this same future point should be looked at as an end result of the way we have lived on earth. If we keep this idea in mind, then it is easier to understand the gospel and the readings that we are presented with today.

We are told that Jesus went up the hill (i.e. indicating the presence of God), sat down, was joined by his disciples and then Jesus began to speak. Consider this scene to the parallel scene of a Judge entering a courtroom (or a King entering a palace hall) joined by his counsellors. It seems that what Jesus is about to say is very important! Thus, it seems that before Jesus said anything, he had a look around him and spoke about the people who were there in the crowd. He saw people who were poor and others who were mourning. He noticed people who were suffering hunger and thirst and others who were being abused and persecuted in the cause of right … (as Jesus himself was treated by the Jews!). At the same time, he also saw people who were gentle, merciful, pure and were peacemakers. Jesus takes this situation as the starting point of his teaching. Whatever situation we find ourselves in, we must be ready to let ourselves go entirely in the hands of God and in doing so, God will see that this commitment is rewarded (if not on earth then it will take place in heaven).

Thus, what happens in the afterlife is entirely in the hands of God. But what we should do while we are still here on earth, whatever the situation may be, is to always trust in the mercy and the providence of God.

“Lord, you want us to rejoice and be happy. Give us the wisdom to learn to do so as we trust ourselves in the Father’s immense love at all times. Thank you Lord!”


Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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