Sunday, February 8, 2015

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, February 8, 2015 with Reflection

1ST READING - Job 7:1-4, 6-7
Job spoke, saying: Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of a hireling? He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages. So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me. If in bed I say, “When shall I arise?” then the night drags on; I am filled with restlessness until the dawn. My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle; they come to an end without hope. Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see happiness again.

 P S A L M - Psalm 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
R: Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.
Praise the Lord, for he is good; sing praise to our God, for he is gracious; it is fitting to praise him. The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem; the dispersed of Israel he gathers. (R) He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He tells the number of the stars; he calls each by name. (R) Great is our Lord and mighty in power; to his wisdom there is no limit. The Lord sustains the lowly; the wicked he casts to the ground. (R)

2ND READING - 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
16 Brothers and sisters: If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! 17 If I do so willingly, I have a recompense, but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my recompense? That, when I preach, I offer the gospel free of charge so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. 19 Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. 23 All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.

Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.

Mark 1:29-39
29 On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. 31 He approached, grasped her hand and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them. 32 When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. 33 The whole town was gathered at the door. 34 He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him. 35 Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and those who were with him pursued him 37 and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” 39 So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.



In today’s Gospel, Mark narrates once more a typical day in the public ministry of the Lord — teaching the people, meeting the sick and healing them of their infirmities, expelling demons. One curious fact in the life of the Lord is that He always seems to “shy away” from the limelight every time the crowd gets excited over the wonders He performs. It’s not unusual to read in the Gospel how Jesus, after rounds of healing and miracles, withdraws to a lonely place in the desert.

       Today, Simon had to track down Jesus and, when found, told the Lord, “Everybody is looking for you!” (v. 37). It was the day after another instance of miraculous healings. Perhaps there was a band ready to serenade Him. The press might have been invited for a news conference. But Jesus was not interested. Instead, He said, “Let us move on to the neighboring village so that I may proclaim the good news there also.”

       Jesus here is not being aloof or painfully shy. He is not playing hard to get. The irony is, while Jesus often avoids the limelight, He does present Himself when needed, “Let us move on to the neighboring village, that I may proclaim the good news there also” (v. 38). In fact, many times in the Gospel, Jesus boldly calls attention to Himself and gives Himself titles like “I am the Good Shepherd,” “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life,” “I am the Bread of Life…” and so on.
  I believe Jesus here is teaching us something about self-promotion. Self-promotion is not bad. It can actually be a Christian duty. But self-promotion is good only when placed at the service of charity and duty. Otherwise, self-promotion becomes vanity, nothing but an ego trip, an ego massage, and therefore fruitless.

       Yes, Christians, broadcast yourself. Promote yourself. Mark out yourself. But only for the sake of service and charity — and that, in all

things, the Lord may be praised! Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Deep in your heart, answer these questions: Do I feel the need to call attention to myself? Do I seek self-promotion for its own sake?

“Lord, teach me to be generous…to labor and ask not for reward. Save that of knowing that I do Your most holy will. Amen!”

St. Josephine Bakhita, pray for us.

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