4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

01-29-2023Weekly Reflection©LPi

In my parents’ bedroom there were on the wall two photos of my mom and dad from their early adulthoods. The photo of my mother entranced me when I was a boy. I loved looking at it, even though I saw her in daily life. Something about that picture captured her perfectly. It was an image of the joy, wisdom, beauty, and strength that enveloped me from the start of my life. It was an icon of the woman who fed, taught, and encouraged me. I felt a deep pride that I came from such beauty. 

The beatitudes of Jesus are a kind of self-portrait. But it is a strange picture. At first, the blessings of being poor, mourning, and hungering and thirsting for righteousness may seem bizarre or, worse, a religious delusion. Who wants to look like that?  But if we look again, we begin to see the characteristics of Jesus’ form. He becomes poor and fills it with his riches for us, he weeps and mourns for us, and fills it with his joy, he hungers and thirsts for us to be righteous, and so satisfies us. And so on. It’s the way he appears on the cross. 

Perhaps we should put on our bedroom room walls the words of the beatitudes next to a crucifix of the Lord Jesus. Then we can do what the beatitudes are designed for, to gaze at the joy, wisdom, beauty, and strength of the one who is our origin, and who is with us every day. And little by little, we’ll start to look like him.

- Father John Muir