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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Reflection/Homily: Fifth (5th) Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (February 5 2012)

At one moment or the other in our lives, life may have been very unbearable for us because of the miserable conditions we find ourselves in. Sometimes, it could be as a result of vocation crises, medical problem that the doctors cannot help, or an emotional problem or a spiritual or financial difficulty or even a family problem. At such moments, we regret our coming into the world. We then begin to look around for solutions to our problems, sometimes, with myopic eyes and not even being able to meet those who can help us.
Such was the condition Job found himself in the first reading. His problem was psychological, physical, emotional, financial and whatever you can imagine. Job was certain he didn’t offend God but wondered why he was in such a horrible condition. He lost the hope of rising again and caused everything about him. He eventually realized it was only God who created him could rescue him. Often times, we find ourselves in such conditions and we begin by blaming God instead of going to him for healing.
The gospel reading of today teaches us what best to do when we are challenged by difficult situations. Peter had to invite Jesus to heal his mother-in-law when she was terribly sick because of the faith

he had in Jesus. How do we profess our faith in Jesus? Can we really invite him into our problems? Jesus is the greatest healer and he can heal us from every kind of problem. Sometimes, we tend to exclude certain problems from the list of what Jesus can do. Why not come to him with that problem troubling your heart, that thing you think nobody can do for you or even what you think Jesus won’t do for you because of your sins. Perhaps he might use it to draw you closer to himself. The gospel records that “he cured many who were suffering from diseases of one kind or another, he also cast out many devils”. He can also cast out that demon threatening your peace.
Even in our time, when Jesus is no longer physically present, he goes on to heal us through his ministers using the Word and the Sacraments. That is why St. Paul in the second reading writes of his compulsion to preach the gospel and of his identification with all who suffer. He became all things to all men so as to win as many as he could to the Lord’s side. This therefore, becomes a challenge on all of us to invite Christ into our problems through his ministers. How do we respond to their work? Are we convinced that through the words they speak and the sacraments they celebrate, we could be healed? Today, there is a mad rush to healing centers where people are often deceived. They neglect Jesus who is the principal healer in search of men seeking wealth through religion.
St. Paul also challenges God’s ministers to be able to offer the gospel free and not insist on the rights the gospel gives them. Jesus teaches us how best to do this in the gospel. When he was told everyone was looking for him perhaps to praise or pay him after healing them, he said “let us go elsewhere…” His interest is not to be praised but to go elsewhere and continue the good works. God’s ministers should realize it is not by their power that they heal, instead Jesus heals through them and they should not take the glory neither do we give them the glory. For the Psalmist said: "Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, for the sake of your love and faithfulness" (cf. Ps.115:1). They must also learn to renew their strength through prayer just as Jesus always did in the gospels. We must also seek Jesus with an undivided attention in prayer. We can pray through his mother Mary and the Saints since they are there to help us get to Jesus.
Sometimes we are troubled in the heart because of our sins. This is when we need healing from our sins. We must learn to approach the confessional for this type of healing. Sin hurts the heart and until it is confessed, it remains a deadly cancer. The sins we habour in our hearts can also cause us physical problems. Jesus would always heal by forgiving one’s sins first. So why not meet a priest and have your sins confessed as soon as possible for Jesus is waiting for you at the confessional to set you free. Remember if the Son of Man sets you free, you are free indeed (cf. John 8:36). God loves you.

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