Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I have a feeling this joke was written prior to the invention of email.

Written by Susan Reilly:

Now that my mother’s office has a fax machine, I fax my correspondence to her instead of using the post office. Although I’ve told her many times that it’s a faster and less expensive way to communicate, she continued to mail me weekly letters.

On my last birthday, however, she showed me that she now has a full grasp of technology. She faxed me a $100 bill with the note:

Happy Birthday. You’re right — it is cheaper to fax than mail,
Love, Mom.

Today’s readings challenge us to look beyond ourselves, and to embrace God’s mercy, and then be light for others. There’s an incompleteness when we try to handle or control things on our own.

In the Book of Job — Job isn’t happy, he finds his life burdensome. Job doesn’t understand why his situation in his life is so difficult. His very close friends try to persuade him to repent of his past sins, and then hopefully God will take mercy on him. However, Job knows that he has done nothing wrong, so why should he repent? 

In our 2nd reading, Saint Paul has this burning compulsion to simply PREACH!! He is driven to save as many souls as possible.

In the Gospel of Mark, we hear Jesus proclaim the Kingdom of God being at hand. In this passage we hear Jesus cures Peter’s mother-in-law, he also heals others, and then he travels onward to the next village.

Jesus heals! Jesus is present to us! Jesus moves ahead of us. Jesus journeys to the next situation.

One little note, once Peter’s mother-in-law is healed, she immediately does something… What? That’s right, she proceeds to wait on them! Jesus’ healing brings about a whole new way of life. The Greek word for this is:  Diakonos what the English would translate into Diaconate — a life of service.

All of us at times:

  • Have doubted like Job!
  • Have persecuted like Saul!
  • Have denied Jesus like Peter!

The Holy Spirit changes all of this for us, as He calls us to love as Jesus did, and to proclaim the Gospel with our lives. And as Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us, sometimes when we proclaim the Gospel, if we have to, use words.

Even though at times we feel loneliness and desperation, the Lord is with us — not only in our hearts, but also miraculously in the presence of the Eucharist at this very altar. Let us open our hearts and proclaim him to the world!

Readings for Sunday, February 7, 2021