SJC - Announcements & Activities
4th Sunday of Ordinary Time – 2023
Cycle A – January 29, 2023
Everyone wants to be happy. It is part of our human nature to seek what will make us happy. However, we have different understandings of what it means to be happy and what will bring happiness. Some believe happiness lies in acquiring great wealth, others seek it in external beauty, some in success in their professional career, others try to find it in relationships. Only to discover that these bring fleeting happiness and we end up feeling: "is that all there is?" Recognizing man’s desire to be happy, the Lord Jesus pointed the way to experiencing true happiness. At the beginning of his sermon on the Mount, the Lord proclaims who are those that are to be considered “Blessed”, which is also translated as happy or favored. And for Jesus it is the poor, those who mourn, those who are persecuted, who have found divine favor. Jesus turned the world upside–down. Not the rich, nor the strong, nor the powerful, nor the well–fed, nor the good–life chasers, but those who place their total trust in God are the truly happy or blest ones. The Beatitudes tell us that being with God is the real source of happiness that knows no disappointment.
But as the Beatitudes tell us that blessedness or happiness is the desire of God for us, we must not forget that it is also a task. Embracing the values the Beatitudes proclaim entails giving up what the world would prioritize. Instead we are called to uphold that which reflects the values of the Kingdom of God. Ultimately, the Beatitudes show us the way to true holiness —life in union with God! And this entails a call to live up to God's will in every moment.
For a disciple, the invitation of Jesus to repent is not one of the many options. It is the only way that we have if we are to share a life with Him. But it will be good to have an insight of what repentance means. First of all, to repent is not about feeling badly about ourselves. In fact it is about experiencing hope because a light has shone for us and is now directing our ways. Thus, to repent is about changing the direction of our lives and definitely choosing God to be the one focus and center of our lives.
If God's Kingdom has not yet become a reality here and now, is it not because we still hesitate to live by the Beatitudes?
What is the National Eucharistic Revival?
The National Eucharistic Revival is a three-year initiative sponsored by the Bishops of the United States to inspire and prepare the People of God to be formed, healed, converted, united, and sent out to a hurting and hungry world through a renewed encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist – the source and summit of our Catholic faith. The Revival officially launched in June 2022, and its milestone event will be a National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, IN, from July 17-21, 2024. The National Eucharistic Revival and National Eucharistic Congress are a direct response to the Holy Father’s call for a “pastoral and missionary conversion which cannot leave things as they presently are” so that the Church in the United States might be “permanently in a state of mission” (Evangelii Gaudium, n. 25).
This eucharistic movement seeks to bring together clergy, religious, laity, apostolates, movements, and parish and diocesan leaders to spur momentum, collaboration, and lasting impact for the renewal of the Catholic Church in the U.S. over the next three years. Each year will have a strategic focus for formation and missionary discipleship.