Preacher’s Sketchbook: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 2, 2012

Each week, a Dominican member of the Provincial Preaching Advisory board prepares this Preacher’s Sketchbook in anticipation of the upcoming Sunday Mass.  The idea of the Preacher’s Sketchbook is to take quotations from the authority of the Church–the Pope, the Fathers of the Church, documents of the Councils, the saints–that can help spark ideas for the Sunday homily.   Just as an artist’s sketchbook preserves ideas for later elaboration, so we hope the Preacher’s Sketchbook will provide some ideas for homiletical elaboration.


St. Gregory the Great, from Moralia

In a very suitable image, the time of flesh is compared with a cloth web. As the web advances thread by thread, so this mortal life passes day by day. In proportion as the web increases, so it advances to its completion. While the time in our hands passes, the time before us is shortened. Of the whole length of our lives, the days to come are proportionally fewer than those days that have gone by.

St. Augustine, from Commentary on Psalm 147

Behold the way in which the dispersions of Israel are gathered, by the healing of the bruised in heart. They who are not of a bruised heart are not healed. What does it mean to bruise the heart? Let it be known, brethren, let it be done, that ye may be able to be healed: For it is told in many other places of Scripture… “the sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit, a bruised and contrite heart God will not despise.” He healeth then the bruised in heart, for He draweth nigh unto them to heal them; as is said in another place, “the Lord is nigh unto them who have bruised their heart.” Who are they that have “bruised their heart”? The humble.

Ambrosiaster, from Commentaries on Thirteen Pauline Epistles

The servant sent by the Lord does what he has to do even if he is not willing, because if he does not do it he will suffer for it. Moses preached to Pharaoh even though he did not want to (Exodus 4:10; 5:1), and Jonah was forced to preach to the Ninevites (Jonah 1:1-3:4).

St. Cyril of Jersusalem, from Sermon on the Paralytic

Everywhere the Savior becomes >all things to all.= To the hungry, bread; to the thirsty, water; to the dead, resurrection; to the sick, a physician; to sinners, redemption.

St. Peter Chrysologus, from Sermon 18

At a glance [Jesus] saw [the mother in law’s] desperate plight, and at once stretched out his hands to perform their divine work of healing; nor would he sit down to satisfy his human needs before he had made it possible for the stricken woman to rise up and serve her God. Here you see how fever loosens its grip on a person whose hand is held by Christ’s; no sickness can stand its ground in the face of the very source of health. Where the Lord of life has entered, there is no room for death.

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