4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (2023)

Sunday February 1, 2026

Mass Readings for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

  • First ReadingZephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13: This passage urges the people to seek the Lord, practice righteousness, and seek humility before the day of judgment comes upon them. The Lord promises to leave a remnant of humble and lowly people in Israel who will trust in His name and not do iniquity, and they will become a praise and a name among all the nations of the earth.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 146: This passage is a psalm praising the Lord for his faithfulness and justice, highlighting his care for the poor, oppressed, hungry, blind, and those who are strangers. It also proclaims that the Lord will reign forever, bringing hope and comfort to the people of Zion.
  • Second Reading1 Corinthians 1:26-31: Paul reminds the Corinthians that not many of them were wise, powerful, or of noble birth when they were called by God, but rather God chose the foolish and weak to shame the wise and strong. He emphasizes that it is only through Christ Jesus that we are made righteous, and thus we should not boast in ourselves but rather in the Lord.
  • GospelMatthew 5:1-12A: Jesus gives us the Beatitudes, the characteristics of those who are blessed in God’s eyes. He teaches that those who are poor in spirit, mournful, meek, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and persecuted for righteousness’ sake will receive great blessings in heaven.

Themes for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The readings for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time for Year A tell us we must seek the Lord. The first reading gives us a road-map for discipleship. The psalm sings of God’s faithfulness and kindness. The second reading reminds us that the world might consider our path as a foolish one. In the gospel, Jesus gives us the Beatitudes, which lay out what it means to follow Him.

Consider if you are actively seeking God or if you are just waiting for something to happen. Here some themes for this week.

  • Seeking God
  • Recognizing blessings
  • The Beatitudes

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

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Resources for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Printable Beatitudes Puzzle

This printable cryptogram gives the eight beatitudes in random order. Children can figure out the key and substitute the letters to solve the puzzle and complete the beatitudes.

Litany of the Beatitudes

This Litany of the Beatitudes is a prayer which helps us remember the beatitudes. It also asks for our Lord’s grace so we can live these values in our daily lives.

Prayer of Trust in God

This prayer of trust in God is based on Psalm 146, which is the responsorial psalm for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. It speaks of depending on God about all other things.

Blessings and Woes Lesson Plan

This Blessings and Woes lesson plan on the Beatitudes will help youth understand the good and bad things which Jesus warns people about in the Sermon on the Plain from the Gospel of Luke.

Homilies and Reflections for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Backwards Thinking

Jeff Cavins explains that following Christ means to become more like him. But this is not an easy task. It requires thinking in a new way which is backwards to what the world shows us.

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

From Fr. Richard Rohr. “To understand the Sermon on the Mount, we must approach it with an open heart and a beginner’s mind, ready to have these normal cultural beliefs and preferences changed. Most people were never told this and tried to fit the Gospel into their existing cultural agenda.” Continue reading.

Blessed Are We

From Bishop Robert Barron. “As we look into the famous ‘Beatitudes’ described in this weeks Gospel, we learn that the Divine Mercy is the path to true joy. The more we allow the Divine Mercy to flow through us the more it grows in us. Once we eliminate the idolatrous rivals of wealth, pleasure, power, and honor and make Christ the priority in our lives we begin to live like saints.”

How to Be Happy

Also from Bishop Barron. “In the beatitudes, the Son of God tells us what every one of us, deep down, wants to know: how to be happy. So we must listen with great attentiveness. At the heart of the program is the beatitude: blessed are the merciful. This is because mercy is a participation in the divine life itself. All of the other beatitudes center around and relate to this one.”

What Does it Mean to Be Blessed?

Fr. Mike Schmitz reminds us, to be holy is not to be perfect. Rather, it is to be blessed by God, and when God blesses something he sets it apart so it may more effectively do his will in this world.

More Thoughts for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

A Universal Blessing

In today’s gospel, Jesus gives us the Beatitudes. These show us that the promise of a “universal blessing” which was made to Abraham will be fulfilled in Jesus. Unlike the world, God blesses those who are without power and influence.

So God’s blessings are for all, but we must work for the virtues which Jesus lists here. We must be poor in spirit, meek, merciful, peacemakers, and more. This is also not the way of the world. But this is the Kingdom which we must strive for.

Reflection Questions for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

  • What blessings do I see in my life?
  • How to I thank God for the many blessings he has bestowed on me?
  • Who can I be a blessing to today?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The Lord keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets captives free.
The Lord gives sight to the blind;
the Lord raises up those who were bowed down.
The Lord loves the just;
the Lord protects strangers.

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