5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Homily

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Job 7:1-4, 6-8
Psalm 147:1-2, 3-4, 5, 6 (3a)
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Mark 1:29-39
February 7, 2021

What is your life like?

Do you have a “good life” or would you call your “life on earth a drudgery?” 

Job had had a wonderful life with a great family, wealth, and prestige.  Now, all that has been taken away by Satan who is trying to get him to reject God.  With all that had been taken away, his life becomes a drudgery.  His life becomes like that of hirelings just trying to make wages to get by.

In faith, Job both accepts this and laments it.  He accepts his “assigned months of misery and troubled nights” with trust in the Lord.

Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, speaks of his calling to preach the gospel.  He has become well-known for his ministry to the Gentiles.  Yet, he sees what he does as no reason to boast because he is just fulfilling the “obligation” that God has imposed on him. 

When Jesus enters Simon’s house, Simon’s mother-in-law is sick and, “They immediately told him about her.”  They interceded for her.  What did Jesus do?  What He always does for the sick, He healed her.

What was her response?  “She waited on them.”  This is the response of a good disciple.  She could have started celebrating.  She could have been prideful and claimed Jesus loved her more than others.  She did not.  As a disciple, she served those around her with an attitude of gratitude.

Then it begins, Jesus healing many people and driving out many demons.  It is what He does.  It is a wonderful thing He does.  It is wonderful for the people to be set free of illness and unclean spirits.  It is wonderful for all of us that we see God’s power at work in Jesus.  It shows the authority He has as the Son of God.

Yet, it is not the only thing Jesus does. 

The next morning Jesus “went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.”  He sets an example for us beginning our day in prayer.

Simon and the others came looking for him.  I wonder if they were just looking for more miracles or were they looking for something more?  There is something more.

When they find Jesus, he says to them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also.  For this purpose have I come.

Jesus came to die for us.  He came to preach.  As part of this, He did many miracles.

What are you called to do?

For those with a job, and those studying to pursue a career, do you look for a job that will make you a lot of money?  Or do you look for work where you can use the gifts God has given you to make the world a better place (thy kingdom come)? 

The latter is not simply a matter of working for the church.  If working for the church is your calling that is wonderful. 

What I am looking at is our motivation for the work we choose.  Are we looking for money or are we are responding to a calling from God while accepting recompense for our work to provide for our family’s needs?

For example, one might be interested in becoming an architect.  Are you interested in money?  Or you looking to make a name for yourself as a famous architect?  Or, in service to God and others, are you looking to design safe and beautiful buildings?

How about a career as a musician?  Again, are you looking to be rich and famous or are you looking to provide music that helps people relax and find peace, perhaps even singing religious music?  It’s okay to receive a just wage for the labor deserves his recompense.  We just can’t do it for the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10) for that would be greed (if being famous is one’s goal, that would be pride).

I’ve given just two examples of types of work and our motive.  I think we can ask similar questions for lots of careers.  For example, does one find a job working in a school because you want your summers off or because you want to help the children?

Does one become an accountant to make a profit or to make the company stronger in serving its customers?

Does one become a politician to make things the way they want or to work for the common good in accord with Jesus’ preaching?

Are you retired?  For those who are able, you can still use the gifts God has given you in volunteering.  If you are not able to volunteer physically, one can always pray.

There is also the vocation of being a parent where the parents dedicate themselves to helping their children become who God wants them to be.

Each “job” comes with its challenges that might make it seem like a drudgery at times.  It is then that we trust in the Lord for “he is good…for he is gracious.” 

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