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Sunday Micro Retreat – January 29, 2023

As you begin your time of reflection, try to realize that you are standing on holy ground and in the presence of God, who wants to talk to you and listen to you.

Make the Sign of the Cross. The Holy Spirit is opening your heart and mind so the Word of God that you are about to read can flourish in you for God's glory. Pray that you continue to work with his grace. Let the words or your prayer flow from your mind through your heart. Try to "feel" what you are saying.

Is there anything you would like to ask God now? What graces does your heart desire?
Talk to God about it.

Today, we ask for the grace of being truly happy.

Now read the Sunday's Gospel:

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way, they persecuted the Prophets who were before you.”(Matt 5:1-12)

The Word of God touches everyone differently. If there is anything that really stood out for you in this reading, meditate on it. Go to the depths of your heart and listen to what God is trying to say to you.

Next, let's spend some time reflecting on each of the beatitudes keeping in mind the following point:

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him

This statement brings to memory another moment of Jesus's life when, seeing the crowds, Jesus removed himself from the situation and went away to pray. This time when Jesus sees the crowd, he starts to address the people. Through this action, he shows compassion for his followers. He wants to reveal to them what brings true happiness. His disciples are joining the crowd too as they listen to this sermon as well.

Our first look into this situation may tell us that there is nothing unusual taking place here; however, Jesus sets the stage for the message that he is about to teach. The Beatitudes are the "rules of happiness" that are not reserved just for the chosen disciples. In today's language, we would say that this teaching is not reserved just for some elite group of religious followers or people who are on a higher "spiritual level." The Beatitudes are a road map of genuine happiness that everyone is invited to explore.

Thus, ask yourself today how you feel about those guidelines. Do you have a specific beatitude that is hard for you to cope with? Why is that? Is it because of fear? bad experience? lack of courage? Which one is your favourite one? Why? Try to reflect on all the beatitudes and see which one touches your heart the most.

You may end this retreat by listing to this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scKp29vqb2I

It is good to keep a personal journal in which reflections that stood out for you are recorded. The outcome of those Sunday Micro Retreats is good material that you can talk about in your spiritual direction.

Beatitudes, meditation with Matt 5:1-12


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