English - Archdiocese of Miami

Archdiocese of Miami - Ministry of Christian Formation
February 8, 2015
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel reading Mark 1:29-39
[To be read aloud]
On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon‘s mother-in-law lay sick with a
fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited
on them. When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered
at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because
they knew him. Rising very early before dawn, 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.‖ So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the
whole of Galilee.
Brief commentary:
Today‘s gospel reading about the beginnings of Jesus ministry in the Galilee follows directly from last week‘s. Mark‘s fast-paced story gives
us the sense that Jesus was very active teaching and healing, and the first readings today provide a conceptual context for better
appreciating the gospel narrative. The reading from Job expresses a very keen awareness of the human frailty and the predicament of
suffering, the psalmist praises God for his care toward (and healing of) the brokenhearted, while Paul describes his sense of mission in
preaching the gospel as an act of loving concern for people. Collectively, these readings find a narrative expression in today‘s gospel story.
In Mark‘s telling of ‗a day in the life of Jesus‘, we are immersed in a story that wastes no words, where practically every detail matters. Jesus
begins to associate with the people of the fishing town of Capernaum, from where many of his disciples will be incorporated into his
movement. His message is never divided from his actions of concern for the sick and the oppressed, and the response to his teaching and
actions are drawing crowds eager to find liberation, healing, and a word that would offer them a new hope. We also find a Jesus who prays
in deserted places before dawn – someone for whom prayer and solitude are at the heart of a fruitful public mission. And, instead of
restricting himself to a ‗center‘ and have people come to him, Jesus goes out to people in the many villages, explaining to his disciples that
―for this purpose have I come.‖ The Jesus of the gospels is one who is an intrepid and tireless missionary, whose love of God and of
people leads him to speak and to act on their behalf. Today Jesus Christ continues to speak to the world and to act on its behalf through
his Church, which is his Body, extended throughout space and time. The Church‘s mission to the world, in the involvement of her
members in every ministry and in every sector of society, extends to the immigrant, the vulnerable and oppressed, the poor and
disenfranchised, the sick and brokenhearted, the abandoned, the one whose life is under threat, the persecuted and the oppressor, the
sinner and saint, the dying and the even the dead. The mission of Jesus Christ is to all, without exception. And all Christians, by virtue of
faith and baptism, are called to be missionaries – each of us in our own families and communities, workplaces and schools, parishes and
society, and world. Each Christian, united to Jesus Christ in prayer and sacrament, is called to be fruitful, to minister, to be a missionary of
the saving gospel of Jesus. Mark‘s account conveys a sense of urgency and mission, and calls us to be ‗christs in Christ‘ for the world.
Today’s reading offers significant messages:
 The very active mission and ministry of Jesus Christ is characterized by words and by actions that arouse hope, offer liberation
and healing, and make new life possible. Christian ministry must also involve both words and actions.
Jesus centered his mission on his communion with God through prayer. Fruitful Christian mission results from union with Jesus
Christ through prayer and sacrament.
Today Jesus Christ ministers to the world in and through his Church. Christians are to develop a strong sense of mission as they
minister to people in the world.
For our shared or personal reflection:
After a brief pause for silent reflection share your answers, ideas or feelings.
How do I witness to the Gospel of Jesus through words and through deeds?
Is prayer the breath and lifeblood of my relationship with God? How can I develop a more consistent and deeper life of prayer?
How am I being a missionary of the Gospel?
Suggested readings: Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraphs 858-60