OMELIE / Omelie EN

29 gen 2023
29/01/2022 - 4th Sunday in O. T. - year A

29/01/2022 - 4th Sunday in O. T. - year A

Reading 1 ZEP 2,3; 3,2-13 Psalm 145 Reading 2 1COR 1,26-31 Gospel MT 5,1-12

I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly”, says the prophet Zephaniah in God’s behalf. He could see the possibility of a social tsunami, given the practical atheism of the leaders of the people. So God is making clear where His preferences lay. His heart is always partial to the lowly, even if they are poor, above all if they are poor, oppressed and suffering.

Do you want to be in God’s good book? “Seek justice, seek humility; perhaps you may be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger”. The people which want to be considered great among men, those with a proud heart, is never God’s favourite, because God Himself is humble and lowly. God’s humility is clear in sending us Jesus both in order to make Himself known and to benefit us: Jesus’s whole life, from birth to death, is a testimonial of simplicity and poverty. Therefore, we are not surprised if the apostle Paul is insisting in comforting the Christians using this observation: “God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God”.

We are aware of our weakness and our ignorance, and above all aware that the world is considering us silly because we believe in God, and it despises us because we love a crucified man: well, we enjoy God’s ways. We are not embarrassed we are not valued in the world we live in, we are not frightened when we realise we are despised, we are not surprised we are overlooked, nay, all the above we expect to happen as it was the normal way to behave.

Saint Paul has spoken in those terms because has listened to Jesus’s words! In fact, Jesus has started talking to men, disciples and crowds, using those words which have become famous: “Blessed the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Today we listen to them again, but also with the desire to understand them a little bit better, and with the desire to be numbered by Him among those «poor in spirit», among those «pure of heart», among those «persecuted for the sake of righteousness».

Many Christians have asked themselves what does «in spirit» there mean, a trait of being poor. I have been helped by someone who has repeated this expression in the following way: «Blessed those who decide to be poor, those who want to be poor for the love of God, so God may shine in their life as the true and only wealth, the true and only source of life, joy and love».

With this teaching, Jesus is fully in line with the one from the prophets, and also is helping us to read and interpret His own way of living. So we can be ourselves too conquered and comforted in our decision to pursue poverty. It is not because we love the poor that, ultimately, we choose to be poor, but for the love of the Father, so He might show in us His beauty and greatness, and for the love of Jesus, who “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2Cor 8,9).

Choosing to be poor for the love of God makes us rich, internally rich, rich in availability, love, understanding of the brethren, rich in simplicity, joy, humility, rich in life.

Jesus keeps telling us “Blessed the poor in spirit”, and He adds the other blessings to help us understand and love the above. And we open our hearts to change our desires, moving them from the things which are temporary, so the delude and disappoint, to the things internal and invisible which are going to be permanent and make us worthy of the “kingdom of heaven”.

We will be blessed, so close to, nay, immersed in the Father’s heart! In order to become so, we must love poverty and purity, mercy and meekness. We will be in the end peacemakers, the true peace which makes us part of God’s wealth.