From the Pastor's Desk
5thSunday in Ordinary Time
Today’s readings challenge us to use our precious gifts from God, using it to do good for others and spending our time, talents and lives for others as Jesus did and as St. Paul did.
First reading details Job’s frustrations in striking contrast: Job complains of the tedium and futility of life and the miseries of human existence. But eventually, his eyes opened by God, Job surrenders himself, his suffering, his work and everything he had had and lost to God’s greater wisdom (Job 42:1-6). Job’s miseries also marked the condition of the people who came to Jesus for healing. Jesus overturns the human condition, bringing hope and healing -- then and now.
The second reading reveals Paul to us as a true, dynamic follower of Jesus, moved as Jesus was by concern for the lost which led him to preach the Gospel without cost to the people, and to serve them as their slave with Jesus’ love and fidelity. Pointing out the spontaneous response of Peter’s mother-in-law after she had been healed by Jesus,
Today’s Gospel teaches us that true discipleship means giving selfless, loving service to others. Mark shows us a typical Sabbath day in Jesus’ ministry: taking part in the synagogue worship, teaching with authority, exorcising a demon, healing Simon’s mother-in-law and, after sundown, curing “many who were sick with various diseases, and [driving] out many demons” – a full day and evening of selfless ministry. Yet, Jesus rises early the next morning and goes off "to a deserted place" to pray, in order to assess his work before God his Father and to recharge his spiritual batteries.
1) We need to be instruments for Jesus’ healing work. Bringing healing and wholeness is Jesus’ ministry even today. We all need healing for our minds, our memories, and our broken relationships, and now Jesus is also using counselors, doctors, friends, or even strangers in his healing ministry. Let us ask for the ordinary healing we need in our own lives. When we are healed, let us not forget to thank Jesus for his goodness, mercy, and compassion by turning to serve others. Our own healing process is completed only when we are ready to help others in their needs and to focus on things outside ourselves. Let us also be instruments for Jesus’ healing by visiting the sick and praying for their healing. But let us remember that we need the Lord’s strength not only to make ourselves and others well, but to make us and others whole.
2) We need to live for others as Jesus did: Jesus was a man for others, sharing what he had with others. In his life there was time for prayer, time for healing, and time for reconciliation. Let us take up this challenge by sharing love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness with others. Instead of considering life as dull and pointless, let us live our lives as Jesus did, full of dynamism and zeal for the glory of God.