Bulletin: February 4, 2018Bulletin
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Do you ever feel that life is drudgery? Have you ever been ill and wondered about your place on the earth or in the lives of the people you love? Do you sometimes feel rejected or misunderstood? On this Sunday in the early moments of a new year, we reflect on the clarity, consolation, and healing we find in faith. Job muses about the meaning of life; Saint Paul relies on faith as he responds to critics; the sick rush to Jesus, and he shows us God’s tender care for those who are ailing and outcast. Not only does he respond to those who come to him; he goes where they are. God seeks us out in our moments of weakness. God will always be with us in such real experiences of human life.
The stories we hear in today’s readings are stories of real life. The book of Job is the story of a man who is tested by illness, the death of loved ones, and the loss of friendships. Most of us can we relate to Job. We have probably had moments when life feels like drudgery, or when we awake in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep. Not all were willing to hear the gospel from Saint Paul. They questioned his motives and did not understand his commitment to share the news of Jesus with all. It is not always easy to live as a disciple in today’s world, either. Not all will understand our commitment to Christian living. In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law and many others who were ill. Those who are in need seek him out. Even when he goes away to spend time in prayer, his disciples go to find him. Jesus does not seem to have many minutes to himself, which any parent, child, friend, or person committed to service can understand when putting the needs of others first. Real life can be challenging!
The stories we hear today are also stories of real faith. While pushed almost to his limits, Job does not capitulate. He relies on God to be with him through illness, tragedy, and loneliness. Job knows that he truly is not alone. God is with him. Likewise, Saint Paul acts as he discerns he must. No doubt, he had moments of loneliness and felt the pressure of the judgment of others, but he did not waver in his trust in the love of the Lord. As in all things, Jesus shows us what to do. In moments of illness, isolation, and hurt, when direction in life is needed, turn to God in prayer. Trust in the healing touch of the Lord, whether physical healing or the emotional healing needed to endure suffering and pain. Jesus healed many who approached him then, and he continues to reach out to us in our need. Trust in God with real faith to meet the often-complicated circumstances of our real lives.
Today’s Readings: Job 7:1–4, 6–7; Ps 147:1–2, 3–4, 5–6; 1 Cor 9:16–19, 22–23; Mk 1:29–39