Engaging the Gospel – Mark 1:29-39

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B): Gospel – Mark 1:29-39

The people throng to Jesus in search of healing

Do we sometimes wish that we had lived during Jesus’ time, and like the residents of Capernaum in Sunday’s Gospel, had been able to gather around the Lord? Yet Jesus is just as present, and accessible, to us as He was to the people 2,000 years ago.

He is here, right now, in our Church, and we too can experience His transforming touch, if we are open to Him. For this reason, we should look forward to Mass as our place of encounter with the Lord, and not view our Sunday attendance as an obligation we can do without. Most especially present in the Eucharist (Catechism paragraphs 1373-81), Christ is “at work in each of the sacraments,” where “He personally addresses” each one of us (1484).

Benedict XVI develops the Gospel theme:

Jesus’ entire mission is symbolically portrayed in this episode. Jesus, coming from the Father, visited peoples’ homes on our earth and found a humanity that was sick, sick with fever, the fever of ideologies, idolatry, forgetfulness of God.

The Lord gives us His hand, lifts us up and heals us. And He does so in all ages; He takes us by the hand with His Word…He takes us by the hand in the sacraments, He heals us from the fever of our passions and sins through absolution in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He gives us the possibility to raise ourselves, to stand before God and before men and women.

And precisely with this content of the Sunday liturgy, the Lord comes to meet us, He takes us by the hand, raises us and heals us ever anew with the gift of His words, the gift of Himself.

Homily of February 5, 2006.

Question for reflection: What prompts me to seek Jesus?