5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) - 4 February

4th February 2024
“Only one thing is necessary in your anguish: bear everything with resignation to the Divine Will; for this will help you to attain your eternal salvation. Hope with a lively faith and you will receive everything from Almighty God.” - St Gerard Majella
A reflection on today's Gospel by the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J Sheen:
"Have you ever noticed in the Apostles’ Creed how quickly we pass over the earthly life of our Lord? Born, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, rose from the dead. We say nothing about the beatitudes, nothing about miracles. Just he was born, suffered and died, and rose again. Just those three. That’s all there is in life. We’re born; the earthly life is passed over, because all that matters concerning an earthly life is whether we are doing the will of God. And then, resurrection.
"First, we are born to Christ in baptism. Remember that our Lord was born into a sinful, sorrowful humanity. If we follow Him as a rule of life, we are born into that kind of a world: the poor, the afflicted, the sick, the ignorant. That is why Jesus’ birth was in a stable. He identified with the poor. Here is the second great commandment: love your neighbour. The fundamental reason for loving our neighbour is because we’re born into the same humanity that our Lord was born into, and we must help redeem it.
"Second, He suffered and was crucified. We suffer. Our Lord said, ‘In this world you will have tribulation.’ We are given crosses. We bear the cross for Him and with Him, recalling always what He did for us. And finally, He rose from the dead. Scripture says of our Blessed Lord, ‘having joy set before Him, He endured the cross.’ That means that in any kind of trial which we have, there should be a hidden gladness. Why? Because we’re assured of the resurrection. Even though God does send us some kind of trial, if we’ve borne His cross, we can be absolutely sure of the crown.
"In the course of my life I have dealt with all kinds of people, with those who have been sinners and returned to the Lord and suffered much and had an indescribable joy. One of the most joyful figures I ever met in my life was a leper woman in Jamaica. She had lost her arms and half of her legs, but she was always smiling and happy saying, ‘But there’s going to be a resurrection, and I will then have a glorified body.’ That must be our attitude." (Through the Year with Fulton Sheen)
Prayer of St Teresa of Avila to Endure Suffering
Teach me, my God, to suffer in peace the afflictions which You send me that my soul may emerge from the crucible like gold, both brighter and purer, to find You within me. Trials like these, which at present seem unbearable, will eventually become light, and I shall be anxious to suffer again, if by so doing I can render You greater service. And however numerous may be my troubles and persecutions, they will all work together for my greater gain though I do not myself bear them as they should be borne, but in a way which is most imperfect. Amen. 🙏💖💐
Food for thought
Do not let the labours that you have undertaken for the sake of Christ crush you. Do not let any trouble cause you to lose heart. No matter what happens, have confidence that His grace will be your strength and consolation. He will reward you for all you endure for His sake. If you are truly eager to get to heaven, accept with loving trust in God’s Will each struggle and trouble you encounter. Do not complain. Remind yourself in your inmost heart that where Christ abides with all His saints in the Kingdom of God is where you will remain safe and at rest once your tribulations in this world are at an end.