FROM OUR ASSOCIATE PASTOR
The Gospel of this Sunday, the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, presents us with an image of Jesus who is very active, contemplative, and prayerful. First, he goes to the house of Peter’s mother-in-law, who is bedridden with a tremendous fever. Jesus takes her by the hand, restores her, heals her, and she begins to serve them; in thanksgiving for having received healing.
When Jesus heals us, exorcises us, and restores our health, what do we do for Jesus and others in gratitude for what God has done for us? Do we do the same thing that Peter’s mother-in-law did?
After this miracle, Jesus began to heal all the sick people who were brought to Him, and they all knew that Jesus was going to heal them. When we come to the Holy Eucharist, with our ailments, illnesses, and needs, do we firmly believe that Jesus can heal us? Or could it be that we only come to Mass as spectators, because of custom, obligation, or tradition?
Finally, we see Jesus getting up very early in the morning, going to a secluded and isolated place to pray and to be alone with his Heavenly Father. Do we do the same thing as Jesus every day? It would be very beneficial and enriching for each of us to deeply meditate on this gospel and put it into practice; otherwise, we will be merely be Catholic Christians who are conformists, those who only pray or come to the Holy Eucharist when we need something from God.
To live a life with God, we need to be active, contemplative, and prayerful people like Jesus; otherwise, we will become Catholic Christians who are spectators, traditionalists, who are only outwardly pious and are conformists and mediocre in our faith. When we lead a life like the one already mentioned, at times of crisis, illness, problems, and desolation, we will succumb to despair and sink because our faith and concept of God are not how we project it. We will continue to live on pretenses and appearances, and with false piety.
Many of us say that we love God very much and that He is the best. However, our behavior, our work, and actions say the opposite. Furthermore, we do not strive to grow in our faith and follow the example of our Savior, Jesus of Nazareth. That is why Jesus reminds us in his word, “Pray at all times because the flesh is weak and the spirit is fervent.”
I know that following Jesus is not easy because it requires us to make sacrifices, practice discipline, and often sacrifice our time that we could be doing other things. However, if we are willing to try, to attempt this journey, we will see the results. Any discipline that we practice daily has results, right?
Now let’s imagine if we put into practice what Jesus proposes to us in today’s Gospel, and as I have mentioned in this reflection, the results would be very positive, and very beneficial for us. We would be more peaceful, calm, serene Catholic Christians like our Master, Jesus of Nazareth. Let’s try it, make the attempt. Let us taste and we will see how good and great our God is. Amen.
Peace, Friar Alberto.
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