LECTIO DIVINA: 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Blessed Are You

Mt. 5:1-12a.

  1. Invoking the Holy Spirit.

We invoke the Holy Spirit using the words of St. Augustine.

          Come, Holy Spirit, by whom every devout soul, who believes in Christ, is sanctified to become a citizen of the City of God! (en. Ps. 45:8) Come, Holy Spirit, grant that we receive the motions of God, put in us your flame, enlighten us and raise us up to God. (s. 128,4) Amen.

  • Lectio.

With heart well disposed, with serenity, read slowly the following words, savoring them and allowing yourself to be touched by them.

          1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 He began to teach them saying:  

          3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

          4 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

          5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

          6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

                   for they will be satisfied.

          7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

          8 Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

          9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

        10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,

                   for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

        11 Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every

                   kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.

        12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

  • Meditatio.

Let us now meditate with the commentary of St. Augustine on these words of the Gospel according to Matthew.

          If someone with faith and seriousness would examine the discourse that Our Lord Jesus Christ pronounced on the mountain, as we read it in the Gospel of St. Matthew, I think that he would find the definitive form of Christian life, in what refers to correct morality. And we do not say it lightly, rather we deduce it from the very words of the Lord. Thus he concludes the sermon in such a way that everything that pertains to the right knowledge of Christian life is present. Because he speaks thus: Everyone, who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice, is like a man who builds his house on rock. (…) But he did not only say he who listens to my words, rather he added he who listens to these words of mine, indicating these words, that the Lord pronounced on the mountain, teach the manner of life of those who would like to live by them, and can rightfully be compared to someone who built on rock. By this he wanted to say that in the discourse are contained all the norms that regulate Christian existence (…).

          But let us listen to him who says: Blessed are the poor in spirit, because theirs is the kingdom of heaven. We read that it has been written of him who desires the goods of the earth: All is vanity and a chase after the wind (Eccl. 1:14). Well then, presumption of spirit means arrogance and pride. Common folk says that the proud people certainly possess a great spirit, it is because sometimes the wind is also called spirit. Thus in the Scripture we read: the fire, hale, snow, ice, spirit of the tempest. Who can ignore that the proud are considered inflated, as if they were dilated by the wind? Hence the Apostle affirms: Knowledge inflates, charity edifies. That is why in the biblical text the poor in spirit are also meant the humble and those who fear the Lord, that is, those whose spirit is not inflated. And the beatitude should not begin any other way, since it must arrive at achieving highest wisdom. Therefore, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, because, in contrast it is written that the beginning of all sin is pride. Therefore, the proud desire and love the kingdoms of the earth: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (s. dom. m. 1, 1.3)

  • Oratio.

With the text, let us now pray from the depths of our heart. I suggest the following phrases and questions that can awaken in you dialogue with God, and at the same time can give rise to affections and sentiments in your dialogue with God , Do not move to the next phrase or question if you can still continue dialoguing with God in one of them. It is not a matter of exhausting the list, but of helping you to pray with some points that better fit your personal experience.

  1. “In the biblical text the humble and those who fear the Lord are considered the poor in spirit” (s. dom. m. 1, 3).
  2. How is humility transformed into a way of happiness and of blessedness?
  3. For you, what does “fear of the Lord” mean?
  • “Blessed are the clean of heart for they shall see God” (Mt. 5:8).
  • St. Augustine says: “A clean heart is a simple heart” (s. dom. m. 1, 8).

What does this phrase suggest to you?

  • Why is it important to have a clean heart?
  • Pray with the phrase: “Lord, make me simple, purify my heart” (s. dom. m. 2, 2, 9).
  • Contemplatio.

I propose to you some points for affective interior contemplation. Once again, you need not follow all of it, rather you can choose what fits your personal experience.

  1. Contemplate Christ seated on the mountain proclaiming the Beatitudes. Listen to them coming out of the lips, try to contemplate only one of them, the one that calls your attention. Contemplate  and love.
  2. Enter into your interior and contemplate your own heart. Ask why it is blessed, and contemplate that reality. Possibly it is blessed because it is humble, because it is simple, because it hungers and thirsts for justice, because it is pure…. Contemplate and adore God, who has made your heart so.
  • Communicatio.

Think of everything that you can share with those around you about the experience you had with God, especially regarding the beatitudes. The following points can help you as guide to share with your community the experience of the lectio divina on this text.

  • What have I discovered about God and about myself in this moment of prayer?
  • How can I apply this text of Scripture at this moment of my life? What light does it give me? What challenges does it put before me?
  • What concrete commitment does this text of Scripture ask of me in my spiritual life, in my community life?
  • What has been my predominant sentiment during this moment of prayer?
  • Final Prayer of St. Augustine.

Turning towards the Lord: Lord God, Father Almighty, with pure heart, as far as our littleness permits, allow us to give you our most devoted and sincere thanks, begging with all our strength from your particular goodness, that you deign to hear our petitions according to your goodwill, that by your power you may drive away the enemy from all our thoughts and actions; that your increase our faith, govern our mind, give us spiritual thoughts and bring us to your happiness, through your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with you lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen (en. Ps. 150:8).

“A pure heart is the same as a simple heart, and just as it is necessary to have healthy bodily eyes to see the natural light, so too one cannot see God if the means to see him is not purified” (s. dom. m. 1,2,9).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

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< 2023 >
February
SMTuWThFS
   1
  • All day
    February 1, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA
    (January 31 – February 3)

    DAY 2: KINSHASA
    9:30      HOLY MASS at “Ndolo” Airport
    16:30   MEETING WITH VICTIMS FROM THE EASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY at the Apostolic Nunciature
    18:30   MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM SOME CHARITIES at the Apostolic Nunciature

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Ramon Monroy, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Yolanda Zaragoza, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Corazon Timones, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Emma Miguel, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Sis. Brigida Gabriel, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    +Sis. Dorotea Sarmiento, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

2
  • All day
    February 2, 2023

    FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD (CANDELARIA)

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA

    DAY 3: KINSHASA
    09:30   MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE AND CATECHISTS in Martyrs’ Stadium
    16:30   PRAYER MEETING WITH PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND SEMINARIANS in the Cathedral “Notre Dame du Congo”
    18:30   PRIVATE MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS at the Apostolic Nunciature

    27th WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE PATRONAL FIESTA
    OF OUR LADY OF SIERRA LEONE PARISH (Kamabai) Time: 1100H (Sierra Leone)
    Presider & Homilist: Most Rev. Natale Paganelli S.X.

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Petra Pascual, AR
    Sis. Josephine Bangura (Trialer / Kamalo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Socorro Japson, AR

3
  • All day
    February 3, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA THEN TO SOUTH SUDAN

    DAY 4: KINSHASA / DAY 1: JUBA

    8:30     MEETING WITH BISHOPS at CENCO
    10:10   FAREWELL CEREMONY at Kinshasa “Ndjili” International Airport
    0:40     Departure by airplane from Kinshasa “Ndjili” International Airport to Juba

    The Holy Father is making the Journey to South Sudan together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

    15:00   Arrival at Juba International Airport
    15:00   WELCOME CEREMONY
    15:45   COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC at the Presidential Palace
    16:15   MEETING WITH THE VICE-PRESIDENTS OF THE REPUBLIC
    17:00   MEETING WITH AUTHORITIES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the garden of the Presidential Palace

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ceferino Roberto Añez
    Sis. Celerina Santos, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Celerina Jaurequi, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Marilyn Miraña, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Filomena de Jesus

4
  • All day
    February 4, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO SOUTH SUDAN

    DAY 2: JUBA

    9:00      MEETING WITH BISHOPS, PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND SEMINARIANS in the Cathedral of Saint Therese
    1:00       PRIVATE MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS at the Apostolic Nunciature
    16:30     MEETING WITH INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS in the “Freedom Hall”
    18:00    ECUMENICAL PRAYER at “John Garang” Mausoleum

    INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HUMAN FRATERNITY

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS

    BIRTHDAY

    FRAY BERNARD AMPARADO, Prior Provincial
    Sr. Jannet Nicer, AR
    Sis. Erlinda Dionela, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Diana Concepcion, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

5
  • All day
    February 5, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO SOUTH SUDAN

    DAY 3: JUBA – ROME

    08:45    HOLY MASS at “John Garang” Mausoleum
    11:00    FAREWELL CEREMONY at Juba International Airport
    11:30    Departure by airplane from Juba International Airport to Rome
    17:30    Arrival at Rome Fiumicino International Airport

    36th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1987-2023)
    OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION PARISH, Miranila, Quezon City
    Time: 1100H
    Presider & Homilist: Prior Provincial

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray James Castelo
    Fray Jovy Gallego
    Sr. Anselma Millan, AR
    Sis. Purificacion Rallos, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Trina Genicet Zamora (RAY-Valencia)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Ofelia Cruz, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    +Sis. Rosario Manese, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

6
  • All day
    February 6, 2023

    GENERALATE: MEETING OF THE DIGITAL EVANGELIZATION TEAM (ONLINE)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ronel Gealon
    Mo. Ma. Emilia Gaspillo, AR
    Sr. Doraine Suyko, AR
    Sis. Marlin Regalado, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Dorothy Joy Balcueva, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Alberto Avanzado

7
  • All day
    February 7, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jess Marco Sanchez
    Br. Christian Peralta (postulant)
    Sr. Ma. Lina Gonzaga, AR
    Sr. Gewena Gay Villarubia, AR
    Sis. Jaena Lascano, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Cecile Pedregosa (RAY-Urbiztondo)

8
  • All day
    February 8, 2023

    9th INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND AWARENESS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Elflida Palma, AR
    Sis. Lydia Morales, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Crestita Pabon, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Cajes, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Ruth Gonzales, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Anita Miranda, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

9
  • All day
    February 9, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Elpedio Sarita, Jr.
    Br. Kirvie Bodiongan (aspirant)
    Bro. Romeo Reyes, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Florentina Alambra, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Teresita Torrecampo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

10
  • All day
    February 10, 2023

    24th INAUGURATION ANNIVERSARY (1999-2023) OF THE PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Virginia Toledo, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

11
  • All day
    February 11, 2023

    OUR LADY OF LOURDES

    31st WORLD DAY OF THE SICK Theme: “Take care of him” (Lk 10:35) / Compassion as a synodal exercise of healing

    PATRONAL FIESTA OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES QUASI-PARISH
    Brgy. Tambo, Ayungon, Negros Oriental
    Time: 1000H
    Presider & Homilist: Prior Provincial

    CHARTER DAY OF TALISAY CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL

    CLOSING OF RED EDUCAR 2023 MEETING
    Venue: Colegio de San Agustin, Costa del Este, Panama
    Date: Jan 20 – Feb. 11, 2023

    GENERALATE: AUGUSTINIAN CLASSROOM OF EDUCATION (MADRID)
    Date: Feb. 11-12, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Filomena Oliva, AR
    Sr. Marisa Dacuya, AR
    Sis. Edelyn Celeste, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2017-2023)

    Fray Roweno Eugenio Hamo
    Fray Sir Michael Dineros
    Fray John Paul Tanquis

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Romana Caballero, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

12
  • All day
    February 12, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Heart Danielle Nakila (RAY-Balamban)
    Sis. Moonyen Llorca, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Bonifacio, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

13
  • All day
    February 13, 2023

    INSTALLATION OF FRAY JULIUS JAMES TINAPAO AS PRIEST IN-CHARGE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO
    QUASI- PARISH, CAIDIOCAN

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Erlinda Vergara, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Catalina Matahum, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Victoria Maniago, SAR (Manila Chapter)

     

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Pedro Magalit, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

14
  • All day
    February 14, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Filomena Duro, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Mena Quiambao, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Serena Principio, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Era Santos, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Lucresia Samson, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Josephine Palanca, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Mary Grace Escayo, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
    +Sis. Teresita Labos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

15
  • All day
    February 15, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Maria Aurora Baygan, AR
    Bro. Julius Cayabyab, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)

16
  • All day
    February 16, 2023

    FORMATION OF FORMATORS
    (Part 1: Feb. 16-18, 2023)

    GENERALATE: GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING (ROME)
    Date: Feb. 16-17, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Porferia Tundag, AR
    Sis. Herminia Villanueva, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Cecilia Cabildo, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

17
  • All day
    February 17, 2023

    5th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARRIVAL OF PIONEER RECOLETOS MISSIONARIES IN CUBA

    GENERALATE:  ONLINE MEETING OF THE GENERAL TREASURER WITH THE PROVINCIAL TREASURERS

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Virgilio Paredes, Jr.
    Sis. Lourdes Tupaz, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Albina Panelo, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Femesolone Gamboa, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Segundina Valderama, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Helen Villarin, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

18
  • All day
    February 18, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Mark Saludes
    Sis. Erlinda Torrecampo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Walthrode Conde, OAR
    +Sr. Genoveva del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR
    +Sis. Estrella Montes, SAR (Manila Chapter)

19
  • All day
    February 19, 2023

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena
    Bro. Gavino Bucao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Remedios Laguisma (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2003-2023)

    Most. Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Bishop of Bacolod)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Pia de San Sebastian
    +Sr. Josefina Disen, AR

20
  • All day
    February 20, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Joseph Neil Baygan (simply prof.)
    Sis. Reba Pacres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Mary Rose Capulong (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ines de Padua, AR

21
  • All day
    February 21, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Nimrod Launio
    Sis. Betty Sinon, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Emily Vallejo, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Lourdes Bonete, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Josefina Buletic, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Fernanda Kintanar, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Nellie Cabutotan (Trialer / Baguio Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Aniceta de la Santisima Trinidad, AR
    +Bro. Luis Clauor Jr., SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

22
  • All day
    February 22, 2023

    SEASON OF LENT STARTS: ASH WEDNESDAY

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Jay-R Vailoces (aspirant)
    Sr. Ma. Flora Silverio, AR
    Sis. Emiline Navera, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Margarita Gamboa, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Soledad Baraya, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

23
  • All day
    February 23, 2023

    FORMATION OF FORMATORS
    (Part 2: Feb. 23-25, 2023)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ana Maria Rosello, AR
    +Sr. Exaltacion Lagrimas, AR

24
  • All day
    February 24, 2023

    CHARTER DAY OF CEBU CITY

    ANNIVERSARY (2022-2023) OF ACCEPTANCE AS
    BROTHER-GENERAL OF THE PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL
    MORENO

    Prof. Emmanuel Luis Romanillos
    Bro. Edwin Ruiz, SAR

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Rommel Rubia
    Sis. Ma. Magdalena Ramos, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Jesusa de Vera, AR+Sis. Fedelina Escalante, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

25
  • All day
    February 25, 2023

    37th EDSA PEOPLE POWER (1986-2023)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Roselyn Jardenil, AR
    Sis. Edna Mariano, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Adrian Gonzales (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Wenifreda Sajorda, AR

26
  • All day
    February 26, 2023

    FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Julius James Tinapao
    Br. Ren Hard Rodriguez (aspirant)
    Sis. Gloria Gaviola, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Severino Cuesta (2000-2023)
    +Sr. Teresa Constantino, AR
    +Sis. Lilia Lepasana, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Anita Paloma, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

27
  • All day
    February 27, 2023

    GENERALATE: SPIRITUAL EXERCISES (MONTEAGUDO)
    Date: Feb. 27-March 2, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Teresita Caberte, AR
    Sis. Clarita Cortez, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Casimera Griarte, SAR (Provincialate Chapter

28
  • All day
    February 28, 2023

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS

    MEETING OF THE PROVINCIAL PROCURATOR WITH THE LOCAL PROCURATORS
    Talavera House of Prayer, Cebu City / Feb. 28 – March 1

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Crisanta Armendez, AR
    Bro. Fulgencio Culaton, SAR (Baguio Chapter / Brother-General of the Order)
    Sis. Macaria Decena, SAR (Manila Chapter) Sis. Maria Semine, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Perlita Narag (Urbiztondo Chapter) Sis. Emma Basul (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Milagros de San Nicolas de Tolentino
    +Sis. Estrella Montes, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Maria Torralba, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Waltrudes Torres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    

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