5th Sunday in Ordinary Time-B
I Reading: Job 7: 1-4.6-7: Restlessly fret till twilight falls.
II Reading: 1Corinthians 9:16-19.20-23: I should be punished if did not preach the Gospel.
Gospel: Mark 1:29-39: He cured many who were suffering from diseases of one kind or another.
With the spread of the scientific developments, new discoveries and good education; one may ask to himself or herself; why should man/woman have to suffer, get sick and die? What is the true meaning of suffering in life? We get this answer in today’s first reading taken from the Book of Job.
In the second reading, Paul has been defending his apostolic position to some who may have doubted it. As God’s slave, he is under compulsion to preach the Gospel without personal reward to serve them for nothing. His reward lies in the blessings of the Gospel.
The Gospel talks about the ministry of healing continues to demonstrate the power of our Lord amid the needs of a suffering world. The word “immediately” is used more than forty times in Mark, making urgency one of the keynotes of this Gospel. The reading tresses the source of our Lord’s power.
The Book of Job reflects serious concern, after the exile, with the problem of suffering, how to reconcile the misfortunes of the righteous with the justice and love of God. With the spread of education and scientific developments, human has found the answer to many problems, but not the answer to a question on suffering in life. The wife and the friends of Job misinterpret the meaning of suffering in life. Suffering is a mystery cannot be explained by human beings except God. Finally God gives the answer.
1. A problem which Job cannot solve:
As we know Job was a very rich man, he had been blessed with seven sons and three daughters and a lovely wife, he was sincere and honest and righteous man one who always depended on God. But Job least expected, misfortune struck: his children died, his possessions were taken away and what was worse, a repugnant skin-disease covered his body from head to foot. Even his wife turned against him.
Job now put a question to himself which practically everyone asks when afflicted by suffering: Why should God allow these misfortunes to have come upon me? Three friends come to discuss with Job trying to find the answer to that question. They made matter worse. Time and gain Job burst into the same complaint, especially when his suffering became unbearable.
At the end, rather than question God, Job decided to put his trust in him and abandoned himself to his will. In returned for his trust, God gave him back whatever he had lost and more, he became a happy man once again. It was God who led him to come to the right conclusion. This is not the story of a real person Job in life, but God prompted someone to write this book that might help people to behave in the time of suffering the way of Job did: Trusting God and his goodness.
2. We discover the meaning of suffering through faith in Christ:
Jesus cast a bright over the mystery of suffering.
The Gospel of today offers us the picture of an ordinary day in Jesus’ life at the time of his preaching:
Jesus preached: the Good News everywhere
Jesus healed the sick: those who came to him because he had compassion on them and to lead them to witness his wonders to faith in him. The prophecy of Isaiah fulfilled in him as the Messiah (Is 53:4; Mt 8:17).
Jesus prayed: early in the morning in a lonely place before dawn.
Jesus taught us that bitter lesson by himself suffering and dying so that we may learn to suffer and die with him. Wise people and doctors know how to obtain medicines from bitter herbs so also our life should be.
3. A few points for Christians to keep in mind regarding suffering:
a. Any kind of suffering or sickness is not the punishment of God but God’s glory (Jn 9:2-3).
b. Suffering is a mystery cannot be explained, some time only God has the reasons for this.
c. Sickness is meant to bring us closer to God.
d. Sickness brings God closer to people.
e. Sickness brings us closer to our brothers and sisters/neighbours.
4. Our Christian community ought to bestow its love on the sick in their midst: our care should be expressed in deeds and not just in words.
Thought: Suffering in all its forms will continue to afflict human as long as we live in this world. Sickness is one the many bitter fruits tat sin brought about. We all get sickness. During his preaching Jesus healed many sick people even he raised the dead, but he did not altogether take away sickness from the world.
What is most important is to bring people closer to God and God bestows his love on the sick in a particular way. Jesus gives the true meaning of suffering, death and sickness in life. Let us believe in the power of Jesus and listen to his words of preaching, teachings and take part in the healing mystery of Jesus.
When a person truly worships the Lord and invites Him into his/her home, the Lord will enter and fellowship therein. He willingly becomes a guest of anyone who extends the invitation.www.believeinthegoodnews.blogspot.com