Sunday Readings and Reflections

Christ Healing the Mother of Simon Peter’s Wife by John Bridges, 1839

Sunday, February 7 
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Roman Ordinary calendar

Bl. Rosalie Rendu

Book of Job 7,1-4.6-7.

Job spoke, saying: “Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of a hireling? 
He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages. 
So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been told off for me. 
If in bed I say, ‘When shall I arise?’ then the night drags on; I am filled with restlessness until the dawn. 
My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle; they come to an end without hope. 
Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see happiness again.” 

Psalms 147(146),1-2.3-4.5-6.

Praise the LORD, for he is good; 
sing praise to our God, for he is gracious; 
it is fitting to praise him. 
The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem; 
the dispersed of Israel he gathers. 

He heals the brokenhearted 
and binds up their wounds. 
He tells the number of the stars; 
He calls each by name. 

Great is our LORD and mighty in power: 
to his wisdom there is no limit. 
The LORD sustains the lowly; 
the wicked he casts to the ground. 

First Letter to the Corinthians 9,16-19.22-23.

Brothers and sisters : If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! 
If I do so willingly, I have a recompense, but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship. 
What then is my recompense? That, when I preach, I offer the gospel free of charge so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. 
Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. 
To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. 
All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it. 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 1,29-39.

On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. 
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. 
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them. 
When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. 
The whole town was gathered at the door. 
He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him. 
Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. 
Simon and those who were with him pursued him 
and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” 
He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” 
So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee. 

Saint Augustine (354-430) 
Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church 
Letter to Proba on prayer, 8-9 ; CSEL 44,56f.

“Jesus left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed”

What is the use of wandering hither and thither, looking about for what we should be asking for in prayer? Let us rather say in the words of the psalm: “One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life” (Ps 27[26]:4). Now, these “all the days” do not pass by, coming and going, nor does one begin when another ends, but all exist at once; they have no end; because the life itself, whose days they are, is without end.

       To enable us to win this blessed life, he who is in person the true life has taught us to pray. Not with a flood of words as though we would be answered by reason of our babbling. For indeed, as our Lord himself said, we are praying to him who knows what we need before we ask him (Mt 6:8) (…)

Does he know what we need before we ask him? In that case, why does he exhort us to pray without ceasing? (Lk 18:1). This might surprise us; but we should understand that our Lord God has no wish to be informed of our desire – of which he cannot be ignorant. But he wants our desire to be stirred up by prayer so that we might be able to receive what he is preparing to give us. For that is something very great, whereas we are small and of meagre capacity! That is why we are told: “Open wide your hearts” (2 Cor 6:11.13). This is something very great indeed (…): and we shall be all the more able to receive it insofar as we believe in it with more faith, hope for it with more confidence, desire it with more ardor. Thus it is in faith, hope, love and uninterrupted desire that we pray always.

Traditional Latin Mass readings for Sexagesima Sunday (MASS Exsúrge (violet))

Parable of the sower by Marten van Valckenborch (1535 – 1612)

2 Corinthians 11: 19-33; 12: 1-9 
Fratres: Libénter suffértis insipiéntes: cum sitis ipsi sapiéntes. Sustinétis enim si quis vos in servitútem rédigit, si quis dévorat, si quis áccipit, si quis extóllitur, si quis in fáciem vos cædit. Secúndum ignobilitátem dico, quasi nos infírmi fuérimus in hac parte. In quo quis audet (in insipiéntia dico) áudeo et ego. Hebrǽi sunt, et ego: Israëlitæ sunt, et ego: Semen Abrahæ sunt, et ego: Minístri Christi sunt (ut minus sápiens dico) plus ego: in labóribus plúrimis, in carcéribus abundántius, in plagis supra modum, in mórtibus frequénter. A Judǽis quínquies quadragénas, una minus, accépi. Ter virgis cæsus sum, semel lapidátus sum, ter naufrágium feci, nocte et die in profúndo maris fui: in itinéribus sæpe, perículis flúminum, perículis latrónum, perículis ex génere, perículis ex géntibus, perículis in civitáte, perículis in solitúdine, perículis in mari, perículis in falsis frátribus: in labóre et ærúmna, in vigíliis multis, in fame et siti, in jejúniis multis, in frígore et nuditáte: præter illa quæ extrínsecus sunt, instántia mea quotidiána, sollicitúdo ómnium Ecclesiárum. Quis infirmátur, et ego non infírmor? Quis scandalizátur, et ego non uror? Si gloriári opórtet: quæ infirmitátis meæ sunt, gloriábor. Deus et Pater Dómini nostri Jesu Christi, qui est benedíctus in sǽcula, scit quod non méntior. Damásci præpósitus gentis Arétæ regis, custodiébat civitátem Damascenórum, ut me comprehénderet: et per fenéstram in sporta dimíssus sum per murum, et sic effúgi manus ejus. Si gloriári opórtet (non éxpedit quidem), véniam autem ad visiónes, et revelatiónes Dómini. Scio hóminem in Christo ante annos quatuórdecim, sive in córpore néscio, sive extra corpus néscio, Deus scit, raptum hujúsmodi usque ad tértium cælum. Et scio hujúsmodi hóminem, sive in córpore, sive extra corpus néscio, Deus scit: quóniam raptus est in paradísum, et audívit arcána verba, quæ non licet hómini loqui. Pro hujúsmodi gloriábor: pro me autem nihil gloriábor, nisi in infirmitátibus meis. Nam, et si volúero gloriári, non ero insípiens: veritátem enim dicam: parco autem, ne quis me exístimet supra id quod videt in me, aut áliquid audit ex me. Et ne magnitúdo revelatiónum extóllat me, datus est mihi stímulus carnis meæ, ángelus sátanae, qui me colaphízet. Propter quod ter Dóminum rogávi, ut discéderet a me: et dixit mihi: Súfficit tibi grátia mea: nam virtus in infirmitáte perfícitur. Libénter ígitur gloriábor in infirmitátibus meis, ut inhábitet in me virtus Christi.

Brethren, You gladly suffer the foolish: whereas yourselves are wise. For you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strike you on the face. I speak according to dishonor, as if we had been weak in the past. Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I dare also. They are Hebrews, so am I. They are Israelites, so am I. They are the seed of Abraham, so am I. They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise), I am more: in many more labors, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often. Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea: in journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren: in labor and painfulness, in much watching, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness; besides those things which are without, my daily instance, the solicitude for all the Churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is scandalized, and I am not on fire? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity. The God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for ever, knoweth that I lie not. At Damascus the governor of the nation under Aretas, the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes to apprehend me: and through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and so escaped his hands. If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed) but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, whether in the body I know not, or out of the body, I know not, God knoweth, such a one caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man, whether in the body or out of the body, I know not, God knoweth: that he was caught up unto paradise, and heard secret words which it is not granted to man to utter. For such a one I will glory: but for myself I will glory nothing but in my infirmities. For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish: for I will say the truth: but I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth in me, or anything he heareth from me. And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me. For which thing, thrice I besought the Lord that it might depart from me. And He said to me: my grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

GRADUAL Psalms 82: 19, 14

Sciant gentes, quóniam nomen tibi Deus: tu solus Altíssimus super omnem terram, Deus meus, pone illos ut rotam, et sicut stípulam ante fáciem venti.

Let the Gentiles know that God is Thy Name: Thou alone art the Most High over all the earth. O my God, make them like a wheel, and as stubble before the wind.

TRACT Psalms 59: 4, 6

Commovísti, Dómine, terram, et conturbásti eam. Sana contritiónes ejus, quia mota est. Ut fúgiant a fácie arcus: ut liberéntur elécti tui.

Thou hast moved the earth, O Lord, and hast troubled it. Heal Thou the breaches thereof, for it has been moved. That they may flee from before the bow: that Thine elect may be delivered.

GOSPEL Luke 8: 4-15

In illo témpore: Cum turba plúrima convenírent, et de civitátibus properárent ad Jesum, dixit per similitúdinem: Exiit, qui séminat, semináre semen suum: et dum séminat, áliud cécidit secus viam, et conculcátum est, et vólucres cæli comedérunt illud. Et áliud cécidit supra petram: et natum áruit, quia non habébat humórem. Et áliud cécidit inter spinas, et simul exórtæ spinæ suffocavérunt illud. Et áliud cécidit in terram bonam: et ortum fecit fructum céntuplum. Hæc dicens, clamábat: Qui habet aures audiéndi, audiat. Interrogábant autem eum discípuli eius, quæ esset hæc parábola. Quibus ipse dixit: Vobis datum est nosse mystérium regni Dei, céteris autem in parábolis: ut vidéntes non videant, et audientes non intélligant. Est autem hæc parábola: Semen est verbum Dei. Qui autem secus viam, hi sunt qui áudiunt: déinde venit diábolus, et tollit verbum de corde eórum, ne credéntes salvi fiant. Nam qui supra petram: qui cum audierint, cum gáudio suscipiunt verbum: et hi radíces non habent: qui ad tempus credunt, et in témpore tentatiónis recédunt. Quod autem in spinas cécidit: hi sunt, qui audiérunt, et a sollicitudínibus et divítiis et voluptátibus vitæ eúntes, suffocántur, et non réferunt fructum. Quod autem in bonam terram: hi sunt, qui in corde bono et óptimo audiéntes verbum rétinent, et fructum áfferunt in patiéntia.

At that time, when a very great multitude was gathered together and hastened out of the cities unto Jesus, He spoke by a similitude: The sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And other some fell upon a rock: and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And other some fell among thorns, and the thorns growing up with it choked it. And other some fell upon good ground: and beingsprung up yielded fruit a hundredfold. Saying these things, He cried out: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And His disciples asked Him what this parable might be. To whom He said: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables: that seeing they may not see, and hearing may not understand. Now the parable is this. The seed is the word of God. And they by the wayside are they that hear: then the devil cometh and taketh the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now they upon the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no roots: for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation they fall away. And that which fell away among thorns are they who have heard and, going their way, are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and yield no fruit. But on the good ground are they who in a good and perfect heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience.

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