Fr Vincent's reflections on the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus continues healing the sick and casting out demons in today’s Gospel.  On the Sabbath morning in the Synagogue, he casted out an unclean spirit.  As soon as he got to Simon Peter’s house, Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in-law of a fever.  In the evening, the whole town gathered at the door to be cured and have other demons casted out!  A busy “day of rest” to say the least.  Are you one of those who ever wondered, “If Jesus could do this for others, when do I get my miracle?”  Let’s see what is really being said by the Scriptures today.

Watch the video: Fr Vincent's reflections on the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Read the text:

 

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time                     (Feb. 7, 2021)

 

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.       R/.  Amen.

 

The Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.             R/.  And with your spirit.

 

On this Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, let us pray:

             Keep your family safe, O Lord, with unfailing care,

             that, relying solely on the hope of heavenly grace,

             they may be defended always by your protection.

             Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

             who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

             one God, for ever and ever.                                                     R/.  Amen.

 

Hopefully you have your Bible with you to follow along.  If not, please pause the video to retrieve your Bible. 

The Gospel today is Mark 1:29-39.

 

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark

 

      On leaving the synagogue

             Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.

      Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.

             They immediately told him about her.

      He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.

             Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

 

      When it was evening, after sunset,

             they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.

The whole town was gathered at the door.

      He cured many who were sick with various diseases,

             and he drove out many demons,

             not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

 

      Rising very early before dawn, he left

             and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.

      Simon and those who were with him pursued him

             and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”

      He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages

             that I may preach there also.

             For this purpose have I come.”

 

      So he went into their synagogues,

             preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.

 

The Gospel of the Lord.                                   R/.  Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Even though my habit with these videos is only to read the Gospel, I invite you, after viewing this video to go back in your Bible to read the First and Second readings of today’s Mass:

Job 7:1-4, 6-7, and 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23

They tie in nicely with the Gospel because Job is very much like the people of the Gospel, and Paul’s comments about his efforts to spread the faith show an effort to model Jesus.  Just something for you to do later with your time!

Today’s Gospel picks up where last weekend’s Gospel finished:  Jesus had cast out the unclean spirit in the synagogue at the Sabbath service, and the people were marveling at his authority and power.  No doubt, Jesus became the talk of the town at the Sabbath dinner tables, just like people do today – talk about all the “community business” when we sit down to eat!  Imagine: “You know, if that Jesus fellow can cast out an unclean spirit, I wonder if he can make my back feel better?” or “You think that was a real miracle?  I’m going to see if he can fix this bad knee of mine; then I’ll know if he’s for real!” or “This Jesus is too good to be true, let’s watch him to see what he’s really up to!”

Even though you and I know Jesus is the Son of God, and that he is everything the Gospels reveal him to be, when it comes to our personal relationship with Jesus, we can still be overcome with skepticism.  “There are many things wrong in my life.  When do I get the miracle I need?”  “I wish Jesus would answer one of my prayers for a change!”  Sad but true, it is easy for us to be so focused on our dissatisfaction with the way things are going for us, that we miss Jesus’ activities in our lives, and think he has forgotten all about me.

Is that true?  Well, being honest with our feelings, means confronting our skepticism.  Sure, I think and feel this way.  But because my knowledge tells me different, I need to follow the words of Scriptures as much as I listen to my heart.  For example, that fact that you have the resources to have access to this video, when so many in the world do not, proves that someone is watching out for you!  The fact that you know others who have prayers answered means that God is active in our world.  Maybe there are blessings we don’t see at first that need to be identified.  If we are too focused on a specific expectation, we can miss what is really happening.  So, broaden your search for Jesus in your life, and you will find him.

Jesus healed many, but he did not heal all.  He left that town to go elsewhere to bring his message and his concern to more and more people.  So, I imagine some of the skeptics remained disappointed and unconvinced about who Jesus really is because they did not get the blessing they believed they deserved.  Skepticism can prevent faith if we turn in on ourselves, or it can produce faith if we look more broadly at God’s hand in the world around us.  Kind of like the question: “Is the glass half empty or half full?”

If you are willing to see the glass half full, then, like Job, you see the disappointments in life, but still trust in God.  If you can trust in God, then like Paul who wanted to be Christ to others, you try to be whatever people need, believing that Jesus ultimately will work through you for others.  Then your real blessings will begin.  Jesus healed many, true, but he also left there, so that those receiving his graces, would know those graces and share them so more and more people would be touched, not by Jesus alone, but by him working through us – and that’s the proof that Jesus is really God and we really believe in him: we become his source of healing and blessing in the world.

 

God bless!

 

Final Blessing:

 

             The Lord be with you.                                                              R/.  And with your spirit.

 

             And may the blessing of almighty God,

             the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

             come down on you and remain with you for ever.                 R/.  Amen.