Fifth SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Only text, to print)
To be Christian means, to often look at the life of Jesus, to listen to his teachings and to put them into practice.
To be Christian means that Jesus is the centre of our life, so that our life resembles the most possible his life; each one according to his or her vocation.
To be Christian is to be with Jesus.
Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus said that she was always with Jesus. Once they told her that in Heaven she would always be with Jesus and would see him. She answered that she would be with Jesus in Heaven in the same way that she was with him on earth, that is, always. Since she always had Jesus present on earth. Then she would see him personally, while now only with the eyes of faith.
Let us now look at the life of Jesus, as the gospel we have just heard tells us.
Jesus was coming out of the synagogue, after listening to the word of God. You, this morning, also have come to church to listen to the word of God. This word of God, which has been proclaimed, mainly from the book of Job and the Gospel.
Reflection on the first reading
Job makes to God his complaints about pain and suffering. He speaks to him sincerely. Sometimes it seems a protest against God, because he has created him and lets him suffer in that way. After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed his day. Job spoke out and said: Perish the day on which I was born, the night when they said, "The child is a boy!" (Jb 3:1-3). He does not find a convincing explanation to what happens to him, and he sees himself forced to accept an incomprehensible God; to love a God that is very far from human explanations. Job ends up saying: I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be hindered. I have dealt with great things that I do not understand; things too wonderful for me, which I cannot know (Job 42,2-3).
Job accepts God the way God is and not the way he would like God to be.
I have often heard these expressions: Why does God allow these things to happen?; why doesnít he send death to me?; what do I do in this life?; why does God allow these horrible wars, in which many innocent die?; why has God allowed the death of my father, or my mother or my son?
Job seems to face God, but only in appearance; the reality is that he accepts him. There are many people who face God and would like a God according to their taste, that always did their will. They would like a God made specially for them. The person who has faith, accepts God as he is, and trusts him; he or she does not believe in a God made according to his or her will.
Some people say that they have lost their faith, because God has not done their will.
I remember a conversation with a girl who had lost her faith because her father had died very young and had suffered much. After my simple reflection, she answered to me: "If God always did my will, I would be more than God", and she was right!
Reflection on the Gospel
Jesus, after listening to the word of God in the synagogue, went to the house of Peter, with James and John. On leaving the synagogue he entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John (Mk 1,29).
Jesus had time to be in family
Jesus liked being in family. He had lived thirty years in family, in Nazareth. He was used to going to the house of his friends, Lazarus, Marta and Mary. In this occasion, in the house of Simon, we can clearly see Jesusí happiness for the affectionate invitation of his apostle Peter; he is accompanied by James and John. Then the Lord does the miraculous healing of Peterís mother-in-law. She responds with gratitude, shown in the service she renders at the table, in that festive gathering. The evangelist says that she waited on them (Mk 1,31).
The house of Peter was the house of Jesus. On arriving, they say to him that Peterís mother-in-law is ill with fever. It is not unlikely that the meal was not prepared. Then Jesus approaches her, and, grasping her hand, helps her up. Very happy, she cooks the meal, and waits on them.
How beautiful it is to see Jesus with his friends, speaking, resting and healing Peterís mother-in-law! Jesus had time to be with his friends and have a good time with them. He had time to be in family.
The Christian is that person who has to have time to be with the family and friends.
One of the evils of our society is that we have so much work, that there is no time to be with the family and friends.
Jesus had time to cure the sick
Jesus would give himself to others, he would relate to people and he would cure the sick. Today the evangelist says: 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 (Mk 1,32-34). Jesus did not pass by when he saw the needs of his brothers and sisters. We cannot leave aside the needs of our brothers and sisters.
Much is said about the money thrown away to carry out frightful wars, and it is true. If this money were used to help solve the necessities of the Third World, these necessities would disappear.
Most of us, do the same with our own money. How many toys, clothes, furniture, trips, new cars, etc., donít we buy with all naturalness, without thinking that there are many people who die of hunger. The Church, today, says to you: help them, according to your possibilities!
Finally, Jesus, rose early in the morning and went to pray. Jesus spoke much about God and he needed to speak with God.
There are many people who do not know to speak about God, for example parents with their children, and the fundamental reason is that they do not speak with God.
Therefore, in todayís gospel we have four fundamental aspects of the life of Jesus:
Jesus listened to the word of God, knew to be in family and with friends, he cured the sick, and early in the morning he spent a good time in prayer.
Let us learn the great lesson the Lord gives us.
May you have a good Sunday.