5th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020-B

By February 7, 2021 No Comments

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020-B

My brothers and sisters in the Lord!

As we journey through life, each one of us is looking for something. One of the most important things is that we all want to be happy. For children, happiness may simply be the experience of having their needs satisfied, they want to feel good, and want to feel safe and secure. As we grow older the needs become more complex.  We need to succeed, to be recognized and to occupy our own place in the world. Every person goes through this process of development, each in his or her own unique way. Of course, we are limited by the particular circumstances in which we find ourselves. For some, the limitations take the form of poverty, or health, or education or the constantly changing face of world history.  Nevertheless, we all want to happy and to make the most of the hand we have been dealt.

The scriptures today, help us to explore these deep human longings in the light of God’s word as well as God’s plan for us. If we know the story of Job, we can recognize his changing fortunes as typical of the human condition.  For reason she doesn’t know or understand, his life has become unbearable.  And he wonders who is to blame?  As far as he knows, he has been faithful to all the demands of the Law, so he refuses to accept that his troubles are a punishment from God. But he also knows the goodness of God and so he refuses to blame God for all that has gone wrong in his life. In the end he has to simply surrender and entrust himself to the loving mercy of God.  

On the other hand, St. Paul is able to view the world in the light of the Good News of Jesus Christ.  He sees this is the final answer to everyone’s quest for happiness, starting with himself, and so he commits himself to sharing this Gospel with everyone, whatever it might cost him. 

In the Gospel today, we find Jesus responding with love and compassion to those he meets. They know that Jesus can help them in whatever needs they might have.  We see that they come from all over bringing people who are sick and possessed by demons, and Jesus cures them all. It is in his night time prayer that Jesus realizes that his mission goes beyond this little seaside town. His disciples tell him: “Everybody is looking for you”.  But Jesus knows the truth that “everybody” is more than the local population.  It is the whole of humanity, for all time. HE knows he has to move on.  His mission for the salvation of the world is just beginning  Everybody is looking for an immediate resolution to their problems, they are all looking for the peace and happiness, the tranquility that we all hope for. 

The issue for us is just the same as ever. Like Job, we too, are puzzled over the difficulties of life.  We wonder why do we suffer, especially  when we try to do what we believe that we should be doing?  Sometimes we question, is there really a God?  And if so, does God not care about what is happening to us?  As Christians, we believe that Jesus Christ is God’s answers to all our questions.   St. John reassures us that “ God so loved the world so much that he gave us his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.”  And so, like the people of the time of Jesus, we too, are among those who are “looking for Him”. We need to hear his voice.  We need to feel the power of his healing touch.  And it here that we find the one who, risen from the dead , reassures us , not to be afraid.  He tells us: “ I have come to overcome the world.  and know that I am with you until the end of time. “

My brothers and sisters, like St. Paul, we too, have been commissioned to go out into the world and share that Good News of our faith: Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and lives in the hearts of all those who believe in him.  He enables us to live in the hope of eternal life, where suffering and death, pain and sorrow will be no more.  We must realize to that this doesn’t mean it is a happily ever after ending of the story, but rather it is a challenge to get on with building God’s kingdom here and now.  Together, and strengthen through the power of prayer and the celebration of the sacraments, we will discover the happiness for which we are all searching.


Fr. Joe