Today we see the urgency in Jesus’ mission of mercy to our world
Reflections on the readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (February 7, 2021): JB 7:1-4,6-7; PS 147:1-2,3-4,5-6; 1 COR 9:16-19,22-23; MK 1:29-39
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Our Lord is a Messiah who saves His people, the whole world in fact, from the destruction of sin and death through His loving sacrifice.
In the Gospel for this Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we spend what in some measure may be a typical day in the life of Jesus during His public ministry. After addressing people at the synagogue, Jesus goes to the home of Andrew and Simon Peter where they discover that his mother-in-law is in bed with a fever. Christ heals her, and she gets up so completely cured that she starts serving all her guests. In the evening the neighbors brought their sick or possessed relatives to the door. Jesus proceeds to heal these people while He commands any evil spirits not to speak. He did not want them to reveal who He was. The fact that He is the Christ and the Son of God is something that will become clear in His own way and time. Our Lord is a Messiah who saves His people, the whole world in fact, from the destruction of sin and death through His loving sacrifice. This is not something to be shouted by demons that only want to undo His mission. Next we learn Jesus’ plans for the next day when He leaves the house before first light. “He left and went off to a deserted place, where He prayed. Simon and those who were with Him pursued Him and on finding Him, said, ‘Everyone is looking for You.’ He told them, ‘Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come’” (Mark 1:35-38).
Christ needed more than a good night’s sleep. He needed a little quiet time for Himself. He needed to pray, to communicate with His Father. Jesus, who is both God and man, needed this spiritual sharing just as we do. However He was not alone very long because the Apostles and, probably half the town, followed Him. It’s likely that they wanted Him to return and spend more time among them. But Jesus knew that He was called to offer the Good News to as many people as He could. The townspeople must have been disappointed. Still, they may well have recognized that His words and healings were meant for a larger world – although it is not likely in those days at the start of Jesus’ journey that anyone else could have seen just how far He would go. And they certainly could never have guessed who He truly was or the immeasurable gift He would bring to the whole earth.