for Sunday, February 8, 2015
Life is drudgery! Wow! Even our Lord Jesus felt the stress and burden of people coming to Him always. Jesus is our Savior and is fully human and the readings today show forth that humanity in a way with which we can identify. So we need not fear drudgery and the weight of people relying on us and the burden of caring for others. We follow Jesus who was able to accept all of this in His humanity.
The first reading today, from the Book of Job, is all about drudgery and about God abandoning us to deal with the awful things in life - so much so that we cannot even sleep at night. Yet in the midst of all of this negativity, Job remains faithful to God. Today people leave their faith and think that there is no God because God is not a magician for us and does not make things easy for us. God is there, not to make things easy, but to be with us and to help us find the wisdom of living. Job recognizes this even when all of his friends turn against him and tell him that he does not understand God.
The second reading today is from the First Letter to the Corinthians and is the reflection of Saint Paul on the same kind of situation. We are caught by God and must do His will because we believe in Him. So Paul preaches the Good News of Jesus Christ whether it is well received or badly received. Paul does what he must do because he has met the Lord. Job did the same because in some way he had encountered the Living God.
Then the Gospel today, from Saint Mark, tells us about Jesus, who had the same kind of experiences. He comes and heals the mother-in-law of Saint Peter. Then others come to be healed. His fame goes out everywhere - not so much because people are looking for God directly, but because they want healing and miracles. Me, too! I want healing and miracles! But I can come to recognize that God gives many kinds of healing and miracles and not always what I want.
The readings today invite us to reflect profoundly on the presence of God in our world. We also want God to impose Himself in a way that can no longer be questioned. God has never done that. God is a mystery and lives in that mystery in a way which always challenges us to believe or to reject. We know that even those who saw the miracles of Jesus, those who knew Him personally and admired Him, left Him and abandoned Him when He was crucified. What a test!
We also find it relatively easy to believe when all goes well, when everything points to the presence of God, when good things happen. When things begin to go wrong, we doubt. When there is nothing that seems to point to the existence of God, we too fall to the wayside. When bad things happen, we question the divine presence. We are humans. And yet, God invites us to live as divine beings, with faith, trusting in the way of Job and of Saint Paul, walking in faith - obedient to our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us trust in Him.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Job 7.1-4, 6-7
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 9.16-19, 22-23
Gospel: Mark 1.29-39
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: