5th Sunday in Ordinary Ti me (B)


5th. SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (B) Mark 1:29-39

February 04, 2018

Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases “.

Fever was a serious illness in the old times especially when it appeared and people did not know its cause, different as we easily know it today. So, people died just because of a fever. At the time of Jesus´ ministry Simon´s mother-in-law happened to be sick with a fever. When Jesus entered the house of Simon Peter, and his brother Andrew, with the two other brothers James and John, they told him about the sick at home. The Gospel of Mark tells us about some typical healing steps that Jesus takes, “He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.” This action of Jesus is not unusual, what is quite unusual is that the woman instead of taking at least a day or a few hours of convalescence, she immediately got up of bed and waited on them.

This viewpoint, resting for awhile after being sick, says more about us than it does about Simon´s mother-in-law, who teaches us two important values, hospitality that was a duty for people at that time, and gratitude for her healing, that was her response serving with happiness and pride; even though to serve after being weak, due to a fever, was a hard work, for this woman being a servant of Christ was a joy. She could tell Jesus, “You made my day.”

There is a contrast between the first reading, and the second reading and the Gospel today. Job, who suffers all sorts of terrible problems, laments saying, “Is not man´s life a drudgery? (…) I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me. In bed I say, ´when shall I arise?´(…) My days are swifter than a weaver´s shuttle, they come to an end without hope.”

Paul takes a different prospect. Few have worked so hard or gone through so many trials. Yet with hope he says, “I do so willingly (…) I have been entrusted with a stewardship. What then is my recompense? That when I preach, I offer the Gospel free of charge.”

Simon´s mother-in-law, whose name we do not even know, is mentioned only once in the Gospels, but that mention is enough for us to understand how important she is in Jesus´ ministry and how an important model of service is she for us in the Church. To serve is sometimes a humble action, but being a servant of Christ is a joy and a privilege.

Once I asked a group of people what was the reason for them to economically support the Church. One said, “All they do is asking for money.” A second one answered, “Because they have to take care of so many expenses and pay the bills.” The opinion of the third person was, “In this way I am building the Church of Christ.” Those three, and it includes all of us, were doing the same thing, but with quite a different approach.

Jesus today also heals us from all kind of diseases, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and from addictions as well. We as Jesus´ disciples are called too to be instruments of healing for others.

As Christians we serve God´s people joyfully and sometimes with a great sacrifice. We should embrace sacrifice in order to help others, especially the needy, not only with our money, but with our time and our talents. Let us realize that whatever we are and have comes from God and does not belong to us alone, and as we share it with others we are building de Church of Christ.

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