Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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The Readings of the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time offer a simple message about the need for healing in our world and in our lives. In the Gospel of St. Mark we see Jesus healing many people: “That evening, at sunset, they brought to Jesus all who were sick or possessed with demons.” This quote refers to those who were physically and spiritually ill. In the First Reading we see that there is also a need for emotional healing. Job states, “so I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me.” He is depressed because his life seems meaningless; however, Job does not lose hope because he believes the words of the psalmist, “The Lord heals the broken hearted.” Pope Francis often speaks of the Church as a field hospital that helps to heal the wounds that come from the ‘battle of life’. The Church mediates Christ the healer through her sacraments and her various institutions. As members of the Church, we too are called to be instruments of healing for one another. If we are called to continue the Lord’s healing mission to a broken world, then we need to stay close to Him. In the Gospel, we are told that early in the morning Jesus went to a deserted place to pray. Jesus prayed to be united to His Father. Following His example, we need to do the same. In two weeks, we will be beginning the season of Lent. This can be our ‘deserted place’ where we can focus on uniting ourselves to Christ in prayer. He will heal the broken heart and send us out to do the same.