5th Sunday in Ordinary Time – February 7, 2021

5B21.   Job 7:1-4, 6-7.   Filled with a sense of desolation, Job says, “I shall not see happiness again.”  Why does something like this appear in the Bible?  The importance of being empty and in deep need is to have nowhere else to go except to God.  This Sunday’s Psalm 147 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” “The Lord sustains the lowly.”  Our weakness is an invitation and opportunity to live in God’s strength.    Psalm 147 goes on to say: “Great is our Lord and mighty in power.”  If we think that we can do all on our own without God because we read something or have some rules to follow, we are lost.  That was the downfall of the Pharisees.

Mark 1:29-39.  The demons that Jesus drove out knew that he was “the Holy One of God.”  However, they could not and would not accept him into their hearts as the God of their lives because Satan had already taken possession of that position.  To know who Jesus is to have the door open and to intellectually see who he is.  Far more important than to know who Jesus is in our minds is to invite him into our hearts and have him as the love that is our life that makes us the rich soil that bears the fruit that is called holiness.

Jesus went off to pray in a deserted place.  In his humanness he sought to be filled with the divine strength of his Father.   Through prayer God filled Jesus’ humanness, as God does with our humanness, with his divine strength.  Through his miracles and preaching Jesus sought to fill the people with the saving love and life of his Father.  Earthly life dies at the grave as does the life of all the living creatures of this earth.  Eternal life is Jesus’ life within us that knows no grave.  Choose to live the life that never dies!

1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23.   Paul wrote:  “All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.”  The recompense that Paul seeks is to win the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24) that is eternal life in heaven.  For him it is superfluous to think of anything else.  True life is God and only God is genuine life.  Everything else is an eventual garbage heap.