5th Sunday in the Ordinary time of the Year B

Readings: Job 7:1-4.6-7 1Cor 9:16-19.22-23 Mark 1:29-39

Theme: Faith in God

On this 5th Sunday of the ordinary time of the year B, our readings encourage us to have faith in God at all times, no matter the situation we find ourselves in life. Our faith and steadfastness at such moments can change the narrative of our lives. In the 1st reading from the Book of Job, we see him lamenting about his situation, though he did not lose faith in God. He was pained, because he was an upright man and could not understand the reason for his suffering. However, his faith and steadfastness won him victory at the end of his ordeal. It is possible that you may be going through one challenge or the other at the moment; trust in God and remain steadfast, he will never disappoint you. He will come to your aid at his appointed time.

The response to the psalm, should a source of hope and strength for us in times of difficulties and challenges of life. It says, “Praise the Lord who heals the broken hearted”. His healing is holistic and it ends up as answered prayer. We have to understand that difficulties and challenges of life are not always setbacks, sometimes they are means through which God leads us to where he wants us to be. The most important thing at such moments is to do our best as humans and have a firm faith in God.

In the 2nd reading from the 1st letter of St Paul to the Corinthians, we see the selflessness and passion in which St. Paul preached the Good news of Christ. He was driven by the he had in preaching the gospel of Christ, and not by what he stands to gain from his ministry. This attitude that we see in the life of Paul, is worthy of emulation by ministers of the word of God in our own time. The physical reward or what we stand to get should never be the drive for ministers of the word of God. The word of God says that a labourer deserves his wage; this simply means that his ministers will not go hungry.

Also in the gospel, we see Jesus and his Apostles attending to all those who needed their services in one way or the other. Immediately they arrived at Peters house and Jesus healed his mother in-law that was having fever, they no longer had time for themselves, but continued to attend to all those who needed their attention. Interestingly, amidst all they had to do, Jesus still made out time to pray. It simply means that prayer is very important in our lives; we have to make out time for prayer. My brothers and sisters in Christ let us make effort to always pray. We have no reason not to pray, there is power in prayer. It is a source of strength for all those who make use of it.

May God bless his word in our hearts. Peace be with you. Amen.

Homily for the 5th Sunday in the ordinary time of the year B, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp