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Liturgy: 5th Sunday after Epiphany

February 03, 2017

In the Gospels for the preceding Sundays after Epiphany, our Lord's divinity was shown forth by His miracles. 

Today it is affirmed through His doctrine, which filled the Jews of Nazareth with wonder (Communion).

Christ is our King (Introit, Alleluia), for He welcomes not only converted Jews but also Gentiles into His Kingdom. Called through pure mercy to share in the mystical body of Christ, we must then in our turn, show mercy to our neighbor since we are made one with him in Christ Jesus (Epistle). In doing this we shall have need of patience, since in God's kingdom here on earth there are both good and bad, and it is only when our Lord comes to judge men, as described in the last Sunday of the temporal cycle, that He will separate the one from the other for all Eternity.

In the Gospel we see that the world is like a wide field into which our Lord, the sower of good seed, puts what is called in today’s epistle the “Word of Christ”. Of this holy seed the fruits are “the peace of Christ” and “charity”. On the other hand, under cover of darkness, the Devil, that accursed sower of evil, scatters the deadly poisonous cockle. The servants of the good man of the house, that is the angels, would divide the good from the evil, but the roots of the wheat and the cockle are so tangled in each other, that they can only be parted at harvest time; only at the last Judgment will divine justice make that inevitable division. Then the wicked, as useless chaff, will be burned while the good will, one and all, be taken to be with Christ in heaven. “The wheat gather ye into my barn.”

Source: Dom Gaspar Lefebvre, OSB, 1945, adapted and abridged.