Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Job 7:1-4, 6-7 / Corinthians 9:16-19 / Mark 1:29-39
“Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted”
-Psalm 147: 1-6
Like Job, in the first reading, we may allow the frustrations and stressful events of our lives to bring us to a place of despair or hopelessness. The brokenness of our world
today, at the beginning of this New Year, reminds us that we are in need of the Gospel message of Jesus more than ever. In order to overcome feelings of helplessness and anguish, we need to allow our faith in God’s promise that he is with us always to be embraced every day, especially in times of difficulty.
Paul reminds us in the second reading that we have been entrusted with the task of
spreading the Good News of Salvation wherever we are. When we preach the
Gospel, we are to become one with those to whom we witness. In “being with” and
among the hearers, we, too, can be open to receiving the Word and experiencing God’s
presence in new ways.
Mark’s Gospel, relating the healing ministry of Jesus, reminds us of the compassion and
mercy that God wants to share with us. Peter’s mother-in-law is healed of her infirmity as
soon as Jesus is made aware of her sickness. He takes her hand and assists her in rising
from her bed and to assume her normal activities. All who observed her healing were
strengthened in their faith in Jesus.
Following the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, they brought those possessed by demons as well as those in need of healing. Jesus showed his power by curing the sick and expelling the demons from all who were possessed. After Jesus left early the following day to go to a deserted place and pray, his disciples came to let him know that everyone was looking for him. He responded by going to the surrounding areas to fulfill his mission of preaching and driving out demons.
As we open ourselves to the message of Sunday’s readings, let us take the time to look into our own fears and anxieties and to know that God is in the midst of our struggles and knows of the healing we need. Let us pray for an increase of faith in the presence of God with us in times of joy and in times of distress and to be ready to respond to the needs of those who seek our help, witnessing to the compassion and mercy of Jesus.
Sr. Mary Doris, OP