Greetings on this the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: 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
Note: Preaching today is deferred to the once annual Diocesan Services Appeal. The funding of the Diocese is made entirely of the contribution of the local churches and their parishioners.
On the internet I read plenty of complaints that the Catholic Church received PPP funding during the pandemic. This would be an individual parish request depending on their circumstances. In our local case we were doen 60% in contributions at the height of the pandemic and we ended the year at about 30% down. The PPP smoothed out the wild swing in contribution and the payment of wages.
If you are familiar with the book of Job you can appreciate the depths of hardship from which he speaks. His own experiences and those of others coalesce into a montage of agonies. This is a part of what is known as Job’s First Reply. Job reviews the collective agonies of the human experience and is left shattered by what he sees.
Here the psalmist reminds us the Lord is active even where we cannot tell He is present. He heals, rebuilds, he keeps an eye on all peoples and all creation. The lowly will be rememberd and the wicked cast to the ground.
Saint Paul reminds us of our common obligation to remember those who are suffering. For the sake of the Gospel, that is the efficacious reception of the Good News of Jesus Christ, he maintains we must be a slave to all and weak in the eyes of the world. Our power and our wealth and our strength must be from and of Christ alone.
Jesus working out of the House of Peter brings relief to the current-day Jobs. All who were ill or possessed by demons were healed.
Then he says Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.
And that is the work of the Church. Heal people in body and spirit.
Find Job, help him.
Peace be with you,