Catechism Conection
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5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A 2017

Catechism Connections
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time  Cycle A
Isaiah 58:7-10; Psalm 112:4-9; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; 
Matthew 5:13-16
We celebrate the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time this weekend.  On the heels of Candlemas, we are still celebrating light.  Both Isaiah and Matthew are describing what happens when one lets one’s light shine.  Isaiah tells us our light shall shine like the dawn when we take care of the poor, and Matthew instructs us to put our light on a lampstand rather than under a bushel basket to let it shine so others may SEE.  How important it is to really SEE, especially to see the needs of our neighbors.  Isaiah tells us we need to clothe the naked and feed the hungry, while Psalm 112 tells us that taking care of the poor will make us people of justice.  But do we really SEE those needs?  Are we really  paying attention to others in order to SEE their needs?  Perhaps the readings this weekend are meant to slow us down and help us SEE more clearly.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church in Paragraph 2447 tells us while there are physical needs that need to be met for people there are also spiritual ones as well.  Comforting someone who loses a spouse, visiting with an ill friend, listening to a coworker who is going through a rough time, etc., are often just as important as feeding someone.  Our spirits need to be fed as well as our bodies.  The light of Christ can open our eyes so that we can SEE more clearly.  In the Catechism, the two types of mercy are outlined and serve as reminders to us that the spiritual works of mercy are just as important as the corporal ones.  If we ignore those we meet who are suffering, we ignore the Christ in our brothers and sisters.  Lord, that I might see!  (Mark 10:51)
From the Catechism:
2447The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities.  Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently.  The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead.  Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity” it is also a work of justice, pleasing to God:
He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food must do likewise.  But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you. If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?