Who among us has been broken? Who has thought I am doomed? Who has thought I am not good enough? Who has thought I don’t know if I can get through this day? Who has been lonely and frightened? Who has lost their way? Who has worried about someone they love? Who has walked in the darkness waiting for the light of dawn? Who has ventured into the depths of despair-lost and afraid? Who has sought a friend? A kind voice?
Regardless of how many times you tick a box for one or more of the above statements they all tell us something about being human and living in the world. There is a sense that despite the despondency of Job in the first reading – we can actually relate to him and his struggles.
If you watch movies many of them you go through the ups and downs and then the wonderful ending! It’s a bit of escape and enjoyable. However, we know that for many people this isn’t real. For many each and every day is a struggle. People tend to lose through a lack of love, kindness or care. People wanting to judge or put down rather than reach out and caress others hearts. In reality one can relate with Job.
In the second reading there is that great proclamation of St Paul ‘to Preach the gospel’ Paul provides us with example of how we can overcome bias, prejudice, hatred as he moves from one who was a Persecutor of Christians to one who stops at nothing to bring people to an awareness of Jesus Christ. His faith and hope go before him with courage, determination and a commitment to making Jesus known. As he says in Philippians 2:1-2 “If our life in Christ means anything to you, if love can persuade at all, or the Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness or sympathy then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind.”
The gospel cites another example of Jesus reaching out in a healing, compassionate manner. The people keep coming and his healing love and power alters peoples and changes them. This authority that he possesses is not only in and through words but also actions – the actions and words of one who emulates and lives out of the compassionate and forgiving heart of God.
That’s the Jesus I see. He is among us sharing in our struggles and pain. It is a reason why I enjoy reading Mark’s gospel. He pulls no punches and the story is a journey to the Jerusalem – ultimately to the Cross! So, let’s be heartened that our God comes among us to show us to the path where forgiveness, mercy, compassion and love are the drivers to being like him.
As an exercise: Try using this following sentence from the gospel as a mantra. Sit quietly and then say the following -“In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there” repeat until you are moved to silence. Remain there for a few minutes and then bring yourself back to your day. Take home from this – God is with us, among us in the struggles.
Have a good week – blessings on each of you and those struggling
Scripture Reflection: Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B, 4 February 2024.
He heals the broken hearted; he binds up all their wounds
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.
First reading: Job 7:1-4, 6-7
Responsorial psalm: Ps 146(147):1-6
Second reading: 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Gospel: Mark 1:29-39
Link to readings – click here
This Sunday, the readings invite us to look more deeply into the experience of human suffering. It is only through Christ that our pain and despair can and will be transformed.
Reminder: 5 Aims and Goals
- share & celebrate life & faith
- support one another (especially in need)
- reaching out to & include others
- build community/extended family
- show and give example to children
Formation-Reflection – Two articles attached…happy reading
Fr Dennis Narcorda PP Levin
Samoan Community Young people from Indian community
Community from Levin Forrest & Christi