“The Spirit of the Lord has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.” Luke 4:18
Read Isaiah, chapter 61, verses 1-7 and Luke chapter 4, verses 14-21
The readings from Isaiah provides more background for understanding the Beatitudes. It is significant that Jesus proclaimed himself to be the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Isaiah speaks of glad tidings being preached to the poor or lowly (Isa.61:1) of comfort being given to those who mourn (61:2-2), and those we may suppose are hungry eating the wealth of nations (61:6), all in an era of messianic fulfillment.
Compare Isaiah’s word with the following
Blessed the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God
Blessed the hungering, for they shall be satisfied,
Blessed the mourning, for they shall be comforted.
The Beatitudes are presented in different forms in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Some scholars suggest that the above version of the three beatitudes captures something of their original flavor on the lips of Jesus. On the surface, they proclaim a paradox. We normally do not think of the poor, the hungry, or the sorrowful as being blessed. Yet Jesus proclaims that they are, reversing human values and expectations. Why?
In the Greek text of the Beatitudes, it is clearly implied that it is God who satisfies the hungry and comforts the mourning. Jesus can proclaim these people blessed because of God’s care for them-a care that God definitely exercises through Jesus Himself. God offers His kingdom to the afflicted, a kingdom inaugurated by Jesus the Messiah.
For reflection: reread the italicized Beatitudes as if spleen by Jesus. What message do they convey to you, in the light of the reading.
Prayer starter: Blessed are those whom you care for, Lord God. Blessed are those whom you welcome into your kingdom. Thank you for inviting me to be among them.
Readings for the week of January 22, 2023
- Sunday: Is 8:23—9:3 / Ps 27:1,4, 13-14 (1a) / 1 Cor 1:10-13, 17 / Mt 4:12-23 or 4:12-17
- Monday: Heb 9:15, 24-28 / Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4, 5-6 / Mk 3:22-30
- Tuesday: Heb 10:1-10 / Ps 40:2 and 4ab, 708a, 10, 11 / Mk 3:31-35
- Wednesday: Acts 22:3-16 or Acts 9:1-22 / Ps 117:1bc, 2 / Mk 16:15-18
- Thursday: 2 Tm 1:1-8 or Tit 1:1-5 / 12 / Ps 132:1-2, 3-5, 11, 12, 13-14 / Mk 4:21-25
- Friday: Heb 10:32-39 / Ps 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40 / Mk 4:26-34
- Saturday: Heb 11:1-2, 8-19 / Lk 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75 / Mk 4:35-41
- Next Sunday: Zep 2:3; 3:12-13 / Ps 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10 (Matthew 5:3) / 1 Cor 1:26-31 / Mt 5:1-12a
Pastor Message and Prayer
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
In the gospel of John, Christ prayed: “that they all may be one” (17:21). The week of Prayer is our response to this prayer. All Christians are invited to participate in these eight days which are concluded with the Feast of Paul’s conversion on January 25, 2023.
To anyone who reads the Acts of the Apostles it is immediately clear that the early Church was specifically the Church of the Risen Christ. The attention of the Church was focused on the Resurrection even more than it was upon the Cross. For Paul as for the early Church the Resurrection was central to the Christian faith. The thought of the Risen Christ permeates all things. It is important, for it means that the story of the Resurrection is not a late and a legendary movement of the Christian story, but it was embodied in it from the very first moment of the Christian Church. We learn from Paul that the fact of the Resurrection was an absolutely essential part of the creed of the early Church. In the Letter to the Romans, we read: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (10:9). We can clearly see that the Resurrection is not only an integral part of the Church Tradition, but it was an essential element in the first confession of faith. The faith of each individual Christian is founded on belief in the Risen Christ. This is not a late development which as added to the Church’s faith, but it has been there from the very beginning. In fact, it was the foundation stone of the Church’s faith.
There is a beautiful saying attributed to Christ, which is one of the sayings not appearing in the New Testament at all: “Raise the stone and you will find me, cleave the wood and I am there.” It means that as a mason works the stone, as the carpenter handles the wood, the Risen Christ is with him. The Resurrection means that every way of life can be walked hand in hand with the living Christ. The power of Christ’s presence is open for every person to draw upon.
Read Paul’s conversion story in Acts 9:19. It is one of the best-known conversion accounts in the bible and a change in the course of the Christian Church. WE are called to conversion, to a change of heart. It is an on-going process throughout our entire life, so that we can align ourselves to God. Nothing can separate us form the love of God.
St. Mary Mass Times
Daily Mass Times
Wednesday: Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament 5:45-6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 6:00 p.m.
First Friday 8:30am Healing Mass and Adoration
Saturday from 5:30-5:50 or
by appointment by calling the Rectory at 815-858-3422
Ash Wednesday: March 2nd
St. Mary 8:30 A.M.
St. John 4:00 P.M.
St. Mary Office Hours
Wednesday 8:30 am- 3:30 p.m.. by appointment
Thursday 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.