5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

February 5, 2023



Homilist: Rev. Kevin Regan
Guest Choir: St. John the Evangelist, Silver Spring, MD
Archive Date: February 5, 2017

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5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)


In a culture obsessed with strength and success, today’s readings are startling

What does it mean to be salt, light, a city built on a mountain? Today’s readings remind us that, as baptized Christians, we can’t hide. God — who is a God of justice and mercy — had expectations of Israel. The Israelites weren’t off the hook regarding how they were to act, and neither are the followers of Jesus. God has expectations of us. People see us, they observe what we do and how we act. What are they seeing? We can’t be followers in name only.

Penitential Act

  • Lord Jesus, you call us to be the salt of the earth: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you call us to be the light of the world: Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you call us to be a city set on a mountain: Lord, have mercy.

Salty Communities

Did you ever try to un-salt what you were cooking? It’s nigh well impossible. Once salt has permeated the food it’s there; the only solution is to try to dilute it.

That’s an interesting fact to remember as we hear today’s Gospel. When Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world,” the “you” he addressed were the disciples who had just heard him say, “Blessed are you when they insult and persecute you because of me.” Remembering who is in the audience throws a particular light upon the message we’re hearing. To be certain that we understand Jesus’ point we should recall that in the first six beatitudes — the Gospel we heard last week — Jesus spoke in the third person (Blessed are the poor in spirit), he didn’t get personal (blessed are you) until he talked about suffering for his sake. Jesus was saying that his message is so provocative that those who propagate it will be persecuted, but they will have made a difference. They’ve salted the situation, and there’s no undoing the influence they’ve had.


Planning this Sunday’s Mass

We live in dark times. War and terrorism, global climate change, political polarization, social upheaval, racial tensions, wage stagnation, wealth inequality and many other issues confront us every day. And for many in the Northern Hemisphere, February seems one of the bleakest months of the year, as we wait for signs of spring and new life.

These readings call us again to consider how well our worship is leading people to take the Gospel to the streets, as Pope Francis has called us to do. Does your parish shine as a light in your neighborhood? Are people drawn to your community of faith by what they see you doing in the area?

Perhaps even more basic, does your worship enlighten those who participate? Does it help them understand and embrace the mission that Christ has entrusted to us? Does it fire up parishioners to go forth and spread the good news of God’s mercy? Does it make a difference in their daily lives?

SOURCE: Excerpts taken from the Cycle A Sunday Resources feature series of Celebration, the pastoral and worship planning resource (1972-2019). View the full series. Click on links to read all the content.

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

True holiness is found in right relationships with one another

Isaiah 58:7-10

  • Isaiah’s audience had recently returned from exile.
  • They were frustrated that the restoration of Jerusalem was taking so long.
  • Isaiah is unsympathetic and tells them to share, regardless of disappointments.

Let God’s light shine through

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

  • Paul met rejection in Corinth.
  • Paul says he can’t rely on human eloquence.
  • He wants faith to have a strong foundation.

Salt is another image of holiness, and saltiness is given by God

Matthew 5:13-16

  • Jesus’ disciples are to be like salt, constant and self-giving.
  • Light symbolizes the goodness of the disciples, their sharing the life of God, who is light.
  • Those who see the light in the disciples will praise, not the disciples, but God.

SOURCES: Content adapted from OUR SUNDAY VISITOR  The clipart is from the archive of Father Richard Lonsdale © 2000. The clipart may be freely reproduced in any non-profit publication.

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