Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery? asks Jo in the first reading. Are not his days those of a hireling? …So I have been assigned months of misery; trouble nights have been told off for me. My nights drags along their course; I suffer insomnia. I am without much sleep and dawns of many mornings can’t come soon enough for me in order that I might be relieved. Of all of these resentments and find escape in work. I won’t ever be happy again. Job’s feeling aren’t altogether different from ours in our own days of drudgery and nights without rest and sleep.
We find Jesus, presumably on a Sabbath, looking for some rest. The opening sentence of today’s Gospel tells us: ” Upon leaving the synagogue, Jesus entered the house of Simon one Andrew….” The first thing that hit him upon entering this place of refuge was his being told that Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever. Instantly, without any further ado Jesus healed her. His day of rest was not to occur. After sunset, as evening came and it was time to get some sleep, a large number of sick and desperate people were brought to him for cures. No rest for him on this Sabbath! We all need Tim to sort of ” recharge the batteries,” and evidently Jews did too.
The burdens, care, and evils of this world grinds us all down. We begin to cut corners on our spiritual lives. Our souls become overburdened with all that wrong and we try to carry those burdens alone, all by ourselves, without relying on the power of God. Prayer time diminishes . Sickness and discouragement take their tools. We begin to feel isolated from God; alienation and estrangement set in even more. We stay home on Sundays and don’t go to Mass, there to receive food for our minds and souls, there to receive the Bread of Life that can nourish and build us up, giving us the strength we need to deal with all that’s wrong in this world.
It’s always a puzzlement to me to see often that when things start going bad folks let their spiritual lives slip away. They stop praying, stop carrying on conversations with God, stop attending Mass, and stop receiving the Bread of Life . The very Bread that can given them the energy, vision and courage, they so desperately need precisely because they are down – discouraged and without energy- either spiritual or physical.
God comes to valve us in the midst of our sins, in the midst of our miseries. Jesus Christ comes for those who have no need of a physician. Why do we think that we will only pray when we feel worthy to pray? Why do we think that we will go to God only after we are made ourselves become Holy? It is God’s prerogative, not ours, to save us. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot make ourselves holy. We faces fabricate happiness for ourselves and then with smiling faces and glowing hearts present our perfect selves to God. No! It’s quite the other way around.
God bless you all,
Fr. Dominic
Your brother in Christ