For a full outline for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, click here.
The central idea for Lectionary 75 comes from Our Lord’s words, “Light of the world,” which He was and his disciples are called to become. The doctrine is on the right to religious freedom and the social duty of Catholics. The practical application is on private and public goodness, how we can better be ‘lights in the world’.
God wants us to do good. Doing good is the opposite of “oppression, false accusation and malicious speech.” Doing good is generous mercy toward the bodily and spiritual needs of our neighbor.
Jesus Christ is the just man who is the light of the world. His light shines through the darkness for all who are upright, that is, all who want what is right.
We are to do good for others, even if it costs us suffering and death. That demonstrates God’s Spirit and power. Good deeds are the way other people can recognize the goodness God grants us, see that it comes from God, and glorify God accordingly.
We live increasingly in an era in which those with power want to limit or remove entirely our right to religious freedom and prevent us from carrying out our social duties.
Our readings proclaim that the light of Christ is seen in this dark world by our good deeds. These good deeds include upright behavior (“remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech”). They also include speaking the truth with courage (“When I came . . . proclaiming the mystery of God, I . . . resolved to [speak of] nothing . . . except Jesus Christ . . . crucified.”) Finally, they include works of justice (“conducts his affairs with justice”) and mercy (“Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own.”)