Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Scripture Reading
Zephaniah 2: 3, 3: 12-13
Second Scripture Reading
1 Corinthians 1: 26-31
Gospel Reading
Matthew 5: 1-12a

Opening Prayer

God, You really do want our undivided attention! We are sorry for the people and circumstances that capture and need our attention and whom we worry about. But didn’t You bring them into our lives? Keep us focused on You and the prophetic ways You speak and challenge us. Humble us not to speak our needs as if they were Your Word and divine commandment. Speak again to us that we might know Your Son Jesus and not be afraid. May He rebuke the demonic and demeaning spirits within us – those attitudes and judgments which shrink, diminish, cripple, divide, and destroy others. Give us the freeing spirit of Jesus. Allow Your reign to free everyone. Help us discern the prophets who speak of You today, and to disdain the voices of self-anointed righteousness. Be the God of our heart and attention, and help us to see and serve You in the people and commitments of our life.

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