5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 4, 2024

Year B


Discover the deeper meaning and connections found in this week's readings, through these great commentaries written by our priests.

The Word

Explore this week's readings and hear what God is saying to us through His Word.

Liturgy notes

Find out more about how we can mark this special day in our liturgy.


See our music recommendations for the liturgy.


Canon Gerard Flynn

If you have ever had an operation, or been ill,

you will remember landmarks of your recovery:

  • Today’s the first day that I have been out of bed to sit up.
  • My hair was washed; I felt human again.
  • I walked into the garden!
  • I really wanted to do something.

We meet God in the kitchen and the classroom, the hospital ward and the office.

In one healing moment today’s Gospel shows that.

God is at the sick bed and in the kitchen.

Simon’s mother-in-law has had a fever.

Jesus does something that accompanies every healing,

in the Gospel and the hospital ward.

He visits her and touches her.

Touch by itself is powerfully healing.

Jesus takes her hand and helps her up.


The landmarks of healing come at once.

She is up, in the kitchen, at work,

doing what a Jewish mother rejoices to do, feeding guests.

I guess that chicken broth with barley featured in her meal.

I wish I knew her name but, whoever she is, I hear her saying later to her friends:

It was wonderful. I knew how much better I was when I got back to work.


She discovers God in Jesus.

She sees the sacred in the cooking pot and the serving spoon.

She is fully healed.

She shows that all of us who are saved

need to be ready

to serve the Lord and to serve our neighbours.


Somebody once said:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

If we see God in our work, we can work very hard without our work ever being hard.

If you’re not sure, just contrast the attitude of Jonah:

Is not man’s life on earth nothing more than pressed service,

his time no better than hired drudgery?

Have you ever worked with people like that?


Next week St Paul tells us:

Whatever you eat, whatever you drink,

whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God.


I hope that this week you feel as restored as Simon’s mother-in-law;

that you will feel sent out to do everything for the glory of God.

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Catholicism of the Catholic Church References:

CCC 547-550:healing as a sign of messianic times
CCC 1502-1505: Christ the Healer
CCC 875, 1122: the urgency of preaching

Liturgy notes

Fr Derek Reeve

Might it not be too fanciful to link the Gospel reading to the life of the Christian community?

The reading begins with Jesus  in the house of Simon and Andrew and after Jesus has healed Simon’s mother-in-law, a meal follows at which she serves them. The next morning Jesus finds somewhere quiet to pray.

At the heart of Jesus’ activities were meals and at the heart of the Christian community is the Eucharistic meal and a woman ministers to the little group so that the emphasis might be placed on the role of women’s ministry in the life of the community.

In the evening after the meal people bring to Jesus all those in need. This ought to be a reflection of the Christian community where all are welcome and accepted as Pope Francis said ‘Todos, todos, todos!’

In the morning Jesus is up early to find a quiet place to pray and that quiet contemplative prayer ought to beat the heart of every Christian community where each and every one is encouraged to find those quiet moments of prayer each day.

Finally, Jesus and his companions leave to carry on their ministry of proclaiming the Good News and bringing healing to all because ‘that is why I came’ he says. The purpose of meeting together around the Lord’s Table is so that he may send us out to proclaim the Good News in our lives and as a community.

Could the Intercessions reflect these aspects of our community life? Centrality of the Eucharistic meal, role of women in the community, open welcome to all and sundry, time for personal prayer each day and being sent out to proclaim the Good News to the world?

Music recommendations

These hymns have been picked and chosen from different sources.

Here in this placed (Gather us in) (CFE253, L475, LHON327)

Lay your hands (CFE347, L432, LHON413)

We cannot measure (CFE772, L433, LHON713)

Blessed are they (Beatitudes) (CHE83,L815)

The Kingdom of heaven is yours (CFE702, L816, LHON654)


CFE - Celebration Hymnal for Everyone

L – Laudate

LHON – Liturgical Hymns Old and New (Mayhew,  1999)

TCH – The Catholic Hymnbook (Gracewing)

Any questions?

Do you have questions about the liturgy and how we are called to participate in it? Explore how the Church councils, saints, and popes have answered this key question and many more.

Discover the Mass

Every movement of the Mass is rich in meaning but we can become over-familiar with it. Rediscover the Mass and explore how it relates to the Exodus story, where many of its rituals come from, and how it makes Jesus present to us today.