Lectionary Reflections: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time [a] February 5, 2017

Engaging Faith | Mon, Jan 30, 2017

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Education for Justice

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time [a]

February 5, 2017


Isaiah 58:7-10

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Matthew 5:13-16



February: African American History Month

February 4: World Cancer Day

February 5: Super Bowl Sunday

February 5: National Day of Prayer for the African American Family

February 6: International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

February 11: International Day of Women and Girls in Science 

February 11: World Day of the Sick (also feast of Our Lady of Lourdes)



We are all jars of clay, fragile and poor, yet we carry within us an immense treasure.

-Pope Francis @Pontifex, August 9, 2013

The parish is where the Church lives. Parishes are communities of faith, of action, and of hope. One of the most encouraging signs of the gospel at work in our midst is the vitality and quality of social justice ministries in our parishes. More and more, the social justice dimensions of our faith are moving from the fringes of parishes to become an integral part of local Catholic life.

-United States Bishops, Communities of Salt and Light

At a time of rampant individualism, we stand for family and community. At a time of intense consumerism, we insist it is not what we have, but how we treat one another that counts. … At a time of growing isolation, we remind our nation of its responsibility to the broader world, to pursue peace, to welcome immigrants, to protect the lives of hurting children and refugees. At a time when the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, we insist the moral test of our society is how we treat and care for the weakest among us. In these challenging days, we believe that the Catholic community needs to be more than ever a source of clear moral vision and effective action. We are called to be the "salt of the earth" and "light of the world" in the words of the Scriptures (cf. Mt 5:13-16).

-United States Bishops, Communities of Salt and Light

 An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.


Hope lets new life blossom, like a plant that grows from the seed fallen on the earth.

-Pope Francis @Pontifex, Jan 26, 2017

The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. 

-Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 2


Thoughts for Your Consideration

Catholic social teaching is a wonderful and positive thing. It affirms the value of every human person and our commitment to the common good and the good of creation.  The Gospel today is a wonderful affirmation of the call to be a light to the world and a salt that gives flavor to the world.  The gospel is a wonderful and positive statement about the Christian life. The followers of Jesus are both salt and light.

Jesus reminds us that this wonderful gift, this marvelous vision, this great reality is not just a feeling or a gift for one’s interior life. It is a gift for the whole world. It is something to be shared and lived out in our service of one another and our promotion of peace and justice in the world. 

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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