FIFTH SUNDAY IN THE ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B.
7th February 2021
Job 7:1-4,6-7; 1 Corinthians 9:16-19,22-23; Mark 1:29-39.
Today’s gospel connects us with the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ healed Simon Peter’s mother in-law who was down with fever. Later in the evening of the same day, the people brought to him all the sick and those possessed by evil spirits. He cured the sick of their sicknesses and cast out the evil spirits from those who were possessed. Jesus went about doing this in the whole of Galilee. He taught in their synagogues, cured the demon possessed, and healed their sick.
Today the healing ministry of Jesus is continued in the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. In the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, the Church prays for spiritual and physical healing, forgiveness of sins, and comfort for those who are suffering from illness. The visitation of the sick involves the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Prayers of Anointing the sick. The church is ever committed to continue this ministry of healing the sick amidst the pandemic. In the holy mass the church prayers for healing on those who are physically and emotionally sick. Emotional sickness due to this pandemic is real and taking its toll on a lot people. Separation and loneliness due to the pandemic has left a lot of people emotionally depressed. In our weekly bidding prayers we pray for parishioners who are housebound due to one illness or another. We believe in the healing power of the sacraments. This is why amidst the pandemic we try our best to take holy communion, with all the necessary precautions, to those housebound parishioners who rely greatly on it to keep hope alive.
The need to heal our broken world is echoed in the letters of Pope Francis. The Holy Father emphasises the need to pray for our world that has deprived itself of true love. A lot of hearts are broken due to the pandemic. The pandemic has exposed the weak sides of our world. It reminds us that some things are worth waiting for, and some things are worth praying for. The depression expressed by Job in the first reading is healed through the presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacraments of Healing. The church in union with the saints in heaven intercede for the sick, asking for divine healing for the broken, the depressed, the anxious and the confused of our present world. May God grant us the faith to believe in the healing power of the sacraments of the church.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.