Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Hope and Purpose Beget Joy

Have you ever heard, “Hurt People Hurt People?” It’s a true phrase that helps us understand how people can be unkind to others. It’s not an excuse by any means, but I do know it can be harder to control ourselves when we are struggling.

On the other hand, if we are honest with ourselves, we know that we all are struggling. We are all broken and hurting, perhaps behind closed doors, and life often feels out of control. It is easy to hide our pain, and sometimes it sneaks out in hurtful words or actions. Honestly, some people are better at living through the pressure than others. Why is that? What makes one person hurt others and another sing in the aisles while shopping?

I don’t really know, but I gather many of them know and practice the 8 Secrets to Happiness that Jesus revealed in His Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes. The Catechism explains that The Beatitudes, (a state of utmost bliss), are “the paradoxical promises that sustain hope in the midst of tribulation.”  The world teaches us that we will find happiness with money, being attractive, things, etc. Although these are nice, they cannot rescue us from all the hurts we experience in this world.

But Jesus can. He shows us true and real JOY. He teaches what will help us…look through our own suffering and pain, see the bigger picture in a life of love and service to others. Jesus had to suffer in order to save us, and we too will suffer in our lives, but His Word offers us hope. Hope and purpose, which begets JOY: Real Joy!

Read more about the Beatitudes at!