Sunday, January 29, 2017 Fourth Sunday after Epiphany / Lectionary 4 Introduction
Who are the blessed ones of God? For Micah, they are those who do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. For Paul, they are the ones who find wisdom in the weakness of the cross. For Jesus, they are the poor, mourners, the meek, those who hunger for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers. In baptism we find our blessed identity and calling in this countercultural way of living and serving.
First Reading: Micah 6:1-8
With the mountains and the foundations of the earth as the jury, God brings a lawsuit against Israel. God has “wearied” Israel with a long history of saving acts. God does not want or expect lavish sacrifices to attempt to earn divine favor. Rather God empowers the people to do justice, to love loyalty to God, and to walk shrewdly in God’s service.
Psalm: Psalm 15
Lord, who may abide upon your holy hill? (Ps. 15:1)
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
According to the world’s standards of power and might, the message of the cross seems stupid and offensive. Yet this word reveals the paradoxical way God has chosen to work power and salvation through weakness, rejection, and suffering. Hence the message of the cross becomes true wisdom and power for believers.
Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12
Jesus opens the Sermon on the Mount by naming those who are blessed in the reign of God.