03 Feb 5th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Dear OLPH Family and Friends,
With our reading from Job we hear his story of woe. His plight is all the more pitiable when we realize that he had everything and now has nothing, not even his health. Contrary to the Levitical law, Job’s three “friends” had just tried to prove that all his difficulties were the result of sin. He heard his friends theologize, asserting that God blesses the good and punishes the wicked. His crisis seems to make him realize that there is real, innocent suffering in life. This is the test of his faith. If Job ever thought that he was in control of his fate, if he thought that the good things he had in life were his own doing or a reward for his righteousness, his experience of loss destroyed that myth. Perhaps he never fully
understood that the wonderful life he had enjoyed was an undeserved, free gift. When God speaks to Job, He reminds Job that he is not God, that he cannot comprehend God’s ways. Fortunately, but in a later chapter, all will be restored to Job.
Today’s first reading doesn’t take us through Job’s entire life. It prepares us for the
Gospel and the conditions God’s People were experiencing at the time Jesus began His public ministry. We can easily see what drew Christ to Peter’s house after leaving the synagogue. It was not a desire to sit down and relax, but compassion for a woman struck down by sickness. He was prompted not by the need to eat but by the opportunity to heal. Christ did not enter to obtain sustenance for Himself, but to restore vitality to another. Jesus wants human beings, not human goods. He desired to bestow what is heavenly, not to acquire anything earthly. Christ came to seek not our possessions but us. He would not sit down to satisfy His human needs before He had made it possible for the stricken woman to rise up and serve her God. “So He took her by the hand, and the fever left her.” (Mk. 1:30) “Here you see how fever loosens its grip on a person whose hand is held by Christ’s; no sickness can stand its ground in the face of the very source of health. Where the Lord of life has entered, there is no room for death” (Peter Chrysologus, 55th century bishop of Ravenna).
May we always take the hand Jesus extends to us!
Let us remember to pray for our teens who are on retreat this weekend.
And Fr. Joe-Welcome Home! We missed you but hope you had a good visit in your homeland.
Next week we will conduct the Annual Catholic Appeal. You should receive information and a pledge card sometime in the next week or so with the logo “Sharing God’s Gifts.” If you don’t regularly receive envelopes in the mail, we will have them available in the pews.
May God bless and keep you! Hope to see you at the Mission: February 5th, 6th, & 7th!