Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
February 13, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.









O God, who teach us that you abide
in hearts that are just and true,
grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace
as to become a dwelling pleasing to you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading Jer 17:5-8

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
but stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
it fears not the heat when it comes;
its leaves stay green;
in the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.

Responsorial Psalm 1:1-2,3,4,6

R/. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked,
nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
but delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.

He is like a tree
planted near running water,
that yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.

Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.

Second Reading 1 Cor 15:12,16-20 

Brothers and sisters:
If Christ is preached as raised from the dead,
how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead?
If the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised,
and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain;
you are still in your sins.
Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
If for this life only we have hoped in Christ,
we are the most pitiable people of all.
But now Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Alleluia Lk 6:23

Gospel Lk 6:17,20-26

Jesus came down with the twelve
and stood on a stretch of level ground
with a great crowd of his disciples
and a large number of the people
from all Judea and Jerusalem
and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon.
And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
for the kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false
prophets in this way.”

Reflection Questions

  1. What challenges your trust in the Lord?
  2. What risks making your faith in vain?
  3. How do the beatitudes apply to your life? How not?          

Catena Nova

There is the poverty of the average person's life, who is unnoticed by the world. It is the poverty of the commonplace. There is nothing heroic about it; it is the poverty of the common lot, devoid of ecstasy. Jesus was poor in this way. He was no model figure for humanists, no great artist or statesman, no diffident genius. He was a frighteningly simple man, whose only talent was to do good.… Christ did not “identify” with misery or “choose” it; it was his lot. That is the only way we really taste misery, for it has its own inscrutable laws. … With nothing of his own to provide security, the wretched man has only hope – the virtue so quickly misunderstood by the secure and rich. They confuse it with shallow optimism and a childish trust in life, whereas hope emerges in the shattering experience of living “despite all hope” (Rom. 4:18). (Johannes B. Metz)

All of you who feel heavily the weight of the cross, you who are poor and abandoned, you who weep, you who are persecuted for justice, you who are ignored, you the unknown victims of suffering, take courage. You are the preferred children of the kingdom of God, the kingdom of hope, happiness and life. You are the brothers and sisters of the suffering Christ, and with him, if you wish, you are saving the world. This is the Christian science of suffering, the only one which gives peace. Know that you are not alone, separated, abandoned, or useless. You have been called by Christ and are his living and transparent image. (Pope St. Paul VI)

What we would like to do is change the world--make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute--the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words--we can, to a certain extent, change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as our friend. (Dorothy Day)

So long as there are poor,
I am poor,
So long as there are prisons,
I am a prisoner,
So long as there are sick,
I am weak,
So long as there is ignorance,
I must learn the truth,
So long as there is hate,
I must love,
So long as there is hunger,
I am famished.
Such is the identification Our Divine Lord would have us make with all whom He made in love and for love. (Ven. Fulton Sheen)

The poor are wonderful people. They have their own dignity, which we can easily see. Usually the poor are not known, and therefore one is not able to discover their dignity. But the poor have above all great courage to lead the life they lead. They are forced to live like that; poverty has been imposed on them. We choose poverty; they are forced to accept it. (St. Teresa of Kolkata)

I have a dream, God says. Please help Me to realize it. It is a dream of a world whose ugliness and squalor and poverty, its war and hostility, its greed and harsh competitiveness, its alienation and disharmony are changed into their glorious counterparts, when there will be more laughter, joy, and peace, where there will be justice and goodness and compassion and love and caring and sharing. I have a dream that swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, that My children will know that they are members of one family, the human family, God's family, My family. (Desmond Tutu)

We are called to happiness, to be blessed, and we become so as of now, to the measure in which we place ourselves on the side of God, of his Kingdom, on the side of what is not ephemeral but rather endures for eternal life. We are happy if we acknowledge we are needy before God — and this is very important: “Lord, I need you” — and if, like him and with him, we are close to the poor, the suffering and the hungry. We too are like this before God: we are poor, suffering, we are hungry before God. Although we possess worldly goods, we experience joy when we do not idolize or sell our souls out to them, but are able to share them with our brothers and sisters. Today the liturgy invites us once again to question ourselves about this and to be truthful in our heart. Jesus’ Beatitudes are a decisive message which urges us not to place our trust in material and fleeting things, not to seek happiness by following smoke vendors — who are often vendors of death — experts in illusion. We should not follow them because they are unable to give us hope. May the Lord help us open our eyes to acquire a more penetrating view of reality, to heal the chronic shortsightedness with which the worldly spirit infects us. With his paradoxical Word he stirs us and enables us to recognize what truly enriches us, satisfies us, gives us joy and dignity; in other words, what truly gives meaning and fullness to our lives. (Pope Francis)


Woe is Me

            Really, Lord?  The poor are blessed?  Does that include the 11.4% Americans living below the poverty line?  Or the 689 million people worldwide who live on less than $2.00 a day? And the hungry are also blessed?  Including the 9% of households in the United States that face hunger  -- 20 million households that are food insecure?  By the way, that’s the same percentage of the global population that’s also hungry – around 811 million people.  And these statistics have all worsened as you know, Lord, because of the pandemic. 

            Which makes me wonder about those who are weeping.  Does that include the loved ones  of those 900,000 people in the United States who’ve died of Covid related illness, plus nearly 5 million others throughout the world?  And please don’t forget how many of those who weep and mourn include more than140,000 children in this country alone who’ve lost a primary or secondary caregiver.  Are they blessed too?

            And should I really be glad there are people who hate me?  With their exclusions and insults, who denounce my name as evil?  Should Catholics who are experiencing a surge in hate crimes as church property is vandalized regularly in this country be happy about this?  After all, religious bias is the third leading basis for hate crimes in the United States, after race and sexual orientation.  But vandalism is nothing compared to persecuted and tortured Christians in India, North Korea, Nigeria, and Burma.  So, tell me, are the 340 million Christians throughout the world who live in places where they experience persecution and discrimination, or the nearly 5,000 Christians killed for their faith last year, and the over 4,000 believers detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned, tell me, are they all blessed?

            Then, Lord, those woes you pronounced!  Like on the rich.  That must include me.  For in terms of global standards – a middle-class American is very rich indeed.  And the country as a whole, well we hold more than 40% of the world’s wealth.  And the woe on those who are filled now?  I assume that includes the consumerist culture in which I live?  We who spend 18,000 dollars a year on non-essential items?  Who on average make 5 impulse purchases per month.  Such that there are 300,000 items in an average American home.  Meaning that we purchase twice as many material goods as we did 50 years ago and the average size of a home has tripled?  Yes, I guess we are pretty full, aren’t we?

            And those who laugh now?  You mean I have to give up watching the late-night comedians? Or maybe you have in mind our “bread and circuses” culture where we spend more than 23 billion dollars annually just on home entertainment.  And this being Superbowl Sunday, well, I’m not sure you would approve of the 7 million dollars it costs for a 30 second ad, or the almost half a billion dollars spent on snacks, or the 7 billion dollars they estimate will be spent betting on the game.  Yes, I do think that’s woeful.

            And those who speak well of me?  Well, I like a compliment like anyone else, but I live a hermit’s life these says, so I really don’t know who says what, good or bad, about me.  Maybe I can get away with that one. (Though when I was teaching students were quite free to express their opinions on Rate My Professor!)

            Now to be honest, I don’t always know what to make of the Beatitudes, whether Matthew’s version in the Sermon on the Mount, or Luke’s in the Sermon on the Plain where – unlike Matthew -- they are accompanied by a series of woes.  Certainly, they are at least a call for Jesus’ disciples to avoid excess when it comes to earthly pursuits.  I think they’re also a challenge to keep the “long game” in mind.  In other words, human happiness has a much bigger horizon than what we experience in this life.  And that there is a higher justice that will mete out just deserts when the time comes.  So Paul reminds us, If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all (II).

            The woes also make clear how so much of what distracts us from goals and values that matter to the Kingdom of God may well bring us under Jeremiah’s censure: Cursed are those who trust in human beings, who seek their strength in flesh, whose hearts turn away from the LORD (cf. I).

            But none of this softens the stark challenge posed by Jesus’ standards for happiness.  Riches?  Forget it.  A carefree life?  A dead end.  Fame or flattery?  Not so great.  Look elsewhere for what true blessing is. 

            So best we stop listening to the siren songs of our culture.  Those that promise much and deliver less.  Whether advertising’s endless bombardment, or the blandishment of politicians who claim they can solve all our problems, or Internet influencers who entice us, or the many false prophets who would have us win others’ esteem based on worldly values foreign to the gospel of Christ –  all of whom tempt us with fleeting pleasures and passing satisfactions.  Which is one reason we have come here to the Lord’s Table to be fed on heavenly delights...longing for that food by which we truly live (cf. Prayer after Communion).  The same Christ our Lord. Amen.



Intercessions (cf. Archdioceses of Kingston and Adelaide; Msgr. Joseph Masiello)

To God who has blessed the poor and hungry, let us pray for the good of the Church, those in any need, and the salvation of all people.

For the Church, pilgrim people journeying to God’s kingdom; for the Spirit’s guidance and action in the governance of our diocese as we await the appointment of a new bishop.

For the poor, the hungry and all who weep; for all who witness to God’s love even through persecution and difficulties; and for those who show mercy and compassion to others.

That those suffering from hunger in Afghanistan, Madagascar, Yemen and Ethiopia, and those shedding tears because life is overwhelming them, will be held by us in prayer today.

For those entrusted with the leadership of the nations: may they dedicate themselves to freeing the planet from war and the threat of war, above all in Ukraine, and to the generous sharing of resources to lift up the downtrodden.

That those who are faithful to Christ and are hated and denounced by others because of their situation in life, their sexuality and religious beliefs, will laugh and dance for joy because Christ is their life.

For God’s presence and blessing on our daily work; for those affected by storms across our country and the world; and for the sick, the hospitalized and all shut-ins.

That those who died in poverty, through hunger or by any form of persecution, will be received  into heavenly joy.

O God,
who alone can satisfy our deepest hungers,
protect us from the lure of wealth and power;
move our hearts to seek first your kingdom,
that ours may be the security and joy
of those who place their trust in you.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (ICEL; 1998)



If in this life only we hope in Christ,

we are of all men most miserable.

But now is Christ risen from the dead

and become the first-fruits of them that slept.

For since by man came death,

by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam, all die,

even so in Christ shall be made alive.

But every man in his own order:

Christ, the first-fruits;

afterwards they that are Christ’s, at his coming.

(Spiritual Communion)

After the Lord’s Prayer, aware of how much we need our “daily bread” from God, no matter the amount of earthly goods we might possess, seek from the Risen Christ -- the Source of true happiness in this life and in the life to come – whatever grace you need to keep from believing in vain.

Thanksgiving (Taize’)


How blessed are you who are poor. The kingdom of God is yours.

Closing Hymn (Graham Kendrick)

Beauty for brokenness Hope for despair Lord, in your suffering This is our prayer Bread for the children Justice, joy, peace Sunrise to sunset Your kingdom increase!

Shelter for fragile lives Cures for their ills Work for the craftsman Trade for their skills Land for the dispossessed  Rights for the weak Voices to plead the cause Of those who can't speak

God of the poor Friend of the weak Give us compassion we pray  Melt our cold hearts Let tears fall like rain Come, change our love From a spark to a flame

Refuge from cruel wars Havens from fear  Cities for sanctuary Freedoms to share Peace to the killing-fields Scorched earth to green Christ for the bitterness His cross for the pain

Rest for the ravaged earth Oceans and streams Plundered and poisoned  Our future, our dreams Lord, end our madness Carelessness, greed Make us content with The things that we need

Lighten our darkness Breathe on this flame Until your justice Burns brightly again Until the nations Learn of your ways Seek your salvation And bring you their praise.