5th Sunday of Ordinary Time, February 5

Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A

In last week’s gospel, we heard the list of Beatitudes which make up the opening verses of Jesus’ first sermon in Matthew, the so-called Sermon on the Mount. We will continue reflecting on Jesus’ first sermon over the next couple of weeks. 
There are so many suitable texts from the Old Testament to choose from as our first reading, to introduce the gospel readings. So many of Jesus’ statements echo similar verses in the biblical prophets. Today is a classic example.
As we move through the Sermon, Jesus will at times take exception to some Old Testament sentiments. But that doesn’t happen this week. Both readings are totally complementary. Jesus challenges his followers to proclaim the gospel by virtuous deeds. And then in the first reading, Isaiah describes the classic praiseworthy behaviors that the people of Israel are to observe. Both readings appeal to the imagery of bringing light into a darkened world.
In the middle reading, we have hardly advanced beyond the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Paul introduced himself as both humble and boastful. He admits his weaknesses and human limitations. But at the same time, he claims that “Spirit and power” are on his side. Both of these self-descriptions, seemingly contradictory, follow from Paul’s deep spirituality and his vocation as a proclaimer of the gospel.
—Walter Modrys SJ

This week’s readings can be found on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.