January 29. 2017
Zep 2:3; 3:12-13
Zephaniah was one of the twelve minor prophets (687-640 BC)
During his time most of the leaders of the Chosen People had abandon God.
While they had been in exile in Babylon the generations that followed had taken on the pagan idols that had surrounded them.
Many had become merchants and had made money.
Even the common people had turned to other gods or to no gods at all.
Zephaniah speaks that a remnant will remain faithful to God. He speaks to them as he speaks to us who through our baptism are called to be that remnant to make God present in the world once again.
Watch for the opportunity to make God present through our actions... mercy, forgiveness, understanding, patience, etc.
Saint Paul in the second reading was speaking to a community that was struggling.
He assured that them they had been called by God not because they were bold and strong, but because God calls the lowly, the humble, to make Him present in the world.
In the eyes of the world we, at times, may not be seen as the wise and/or learned.
But it is in our lowliness, it is our actions that make God present in today's world.
In the Gospel we are told what is it to be called by God and to be a follower of Christ.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
The world says be strong...you do not have to take it with a grain of salt
Blessed are they who mourn,
We seem to have learned that we should never be down and out...Be strong
Blessed are the meek,
We seem to think at times in difficult situations we should never be meek...stand up to that person.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
Blessed are the merciful,
But the world teaches us mercy only to those who deserve it, not to everyone
Blessed are the clean of heart,
But the world says it is ok to get upset and think badly of some people that deserve it
Blessed are the peacemakers,
We are taught that I only make peace to those who deserve it, not to the one who hurt me
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
Don't be rejected...you were right; others should respect you.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven."
Perhaps the next time we go to confession or examine ourselves,we might take a look at the Beatitudes and pray to be able to fulfill what they suggest as to how we can make God present in the world.