In the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus preaches the Beatitudes.  “Blessed are [they] the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5: 3-4).  Why does Jesus consider poverty, grief, hunger, persecution, and other troubles as blessings?   God cares deeply for people in distress.  God wants the basic necessities for the poor, comfort for the grief stricken, food for the hungry, safety for the persecuted.  In Jesus, God stands with and acts on behalf of anyone suffering.  Jesus restores sight to the blind, feeds the hungry, comforts Martha and Mary when Lazarus dies, and promises the Holy Spirit to protect his disciples when they meet opposition.  God is with us when we struggle through life’s difficulties.  God wants us to be with others who need our help.  How has God blessed you in times of difficulty.  How do you bless others?

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