When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain.... He began to teach them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit,... Blessed are they who mourn,...Blessed are the meek,... Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,... Blessed are the merciful,... Blessed are the clean of heart,... Blessed are the peacemakers,... Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,... Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you.... Rejoice and be glad for your reward will be great in heaven."
> In a culture which values success and achievement so highly, persons without the ability, circumstances or opportunity to succeed are automatically de-valued.
> The Beatitudes remind us that in God's eyes -- which is to say, in the way that really counts -- even those who do not achieve what the world considers "success" are valuable (or "blessed," as the scripture puts it).
> On this, the last Sunday in January -- a month dedicated to respect for life -- we are challenged to believe and act as if every human person, and life in all its stages, conditions and forms, is valuable and blessed.
> Gathered for Eucharist, we are tempted to imagine that some of us are more (or less) valuable than others. According to the Gospel, that would be a mistake.
> Question for Children: Do you ever feel bad because you aren't as good at something as someone else? Do you ever make someone else feel bad because they aren't as good you are?
> Question for Youth: How do you cope with people who act like they are better than you? Do you make other people feel that they are not as good as you are?
> Question for Adults, Families and Faith Communities: How do we define "success"? How do we treat those who do not measure up to our rules about who is valuable and who is not?
• Read Sunday's readings here:
• Read a commentary on Sunday’s readings here:
• Reflect on an image for Sunday's Gospel here:
• Hear the Gospel from a Third World perspective:
• Find a schedule of Masses in the Waterloo and Cedar Falls parishes here: