February 4, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Daily readings: Job 7:1-4, 6-7, 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23, Mark 1:29-39
Jesus Christ is the only wounded healer who could redeem the world. We should place our trust in him. Jesus’ ministry is not only healing and exorcising but also, above all, preaching the Gospel.
St. Paul takes lots of pride in preaching the Gospel tirelessly, considering it a privilege for which he doesn’t require any payment. He feels a sense of responsibility thrust upon him. If he has chosen it as a profession, then he will seek a solid reward. The only thing that he demands is a share in the joy of the Gospel. The only reason behind this is his call during his Damascus encounter. There is something to learn for those who have dedicated their lives to preaching the Gospel either directly or indirectly, as to what motivates them to do what they are doing and how they have been able to sustain their vocation in spite of the many hurdles that they face in life.
Job speaks about his suffering. His speech is a partial answer to his friends, who raise many questions. The situation is really bleak. He sees his present suffering as that of a futile servant. He feels that there is no hope or reward. Like a slave, he longs for some shade and his payment. His life is full of misery and restlessness. Life is like the wind. At the end, weariness is the only thing that remains. Thus, Job mourns over the futility of his life.
Quite amazingly, in all these circumstances, Job never gives into self-pity. He does not blame God. He does not view his suffering as a punishment from God. He has the courage to talk to God and register his displeasure. Job teaches all of us a lesson to keep talking to God even during our sufferings.
Jesus comes out of the synagogue after preaching with authority. He realizes that teaching alone is not enough. He realizes that teaching alone is not enough; he must practice it concretely. Simon’s mother-in-law gives him an opportunity. He heals her from her fever. He continues to cure people with all kinds of illnesses and drives away demons. The demons recognize Jesus’ identity, and strangely enough, he commands them to keep silence. This phenomenon is known as the Messianic secret. He will allow Peter to declare his identity on behalf of the Twelve and the Jewish population. Later, the Roman centurion will do that on behalf of the Gentiles.
Call to Action for Catholic Living: After a hectic day of work, Jesus goes to sleep in order to wake up early in the morning to spend some time in prayer in a deserted place. It is a time of personal communion with his Father. It is a time to recharge. How do I recharge myself when my spirit is low?
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.