February 4, 2024, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Episode 17 February 02, 2024 00:09:37
February 4, 2024, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sundays with Bishop Ken
February 4, 2024, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Feb 02 2024 | 00:09:37

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Little Books of the Diocese of Saginaw

Show Notes

Today's Gospel teaches us more about Jesus' nature. Listen as Bishop Ken guides us through it. (Mk 1:29-39)

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Episode Transcript

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark “On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told Jesus about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them. When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to Jesus all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him. Rising very early before dawn, Jesus left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, "Everyone is looking for you." Jesus told them, "Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose, have I come." So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.” The Gospel of the Lord. It's particularly true of youngsters - maybe 10 years old through most of the teenage years – that they want to look good to others. What they wear, what they say, and the family car they ride in. I remember when I was maybe in the fourth or fifth grade. We didn't have such a good car. It was old and it had a few dents in it. When my dad picked us up, I hoped he wouldn't come until the other kids had left, because it would kill me if, when we came out of school, he was there waiting for us and everyone saw the car. It really wasn't all that bad a car, but to a youngster, it was anything but cool. At any age, we all want to put our best foot forward for other people, show our good side. It plays out in different ways at different ages, but it's true of all of us, and it lasts our whole lives. It's natural enough, and there's really nothing wrong with it. We want others to think of us as good company, enjoyable to be with. We want clothes that wear well on us. We want others to see our strengths - the gleam of health and the glow of talent. We want others to know that we are good at golf, or bowling, or good at something. We want others to think of us as bright, intelligent, and clever. It’s natural enough and, (unless it's an extreme preoccupation) there’s nothing wrong with it. But we all know there's another side to us. There's a dark side we don't want anybody to see. We've all got weaknesses, some of them embarrassing. We've all got some deep-down fears. For example, we're not as courageous as we look. Or despite our apparent self-confidence and resourcefulness, there are frail parts to our lives. And we've made mistakes along the way. We have bad memories. There's some shame in every life. That's the part of ourselves that we don't want anyone else to know about. So here is Jesus, in a small town up north, at the very beginning of his public life, and what do we see him doing? He's laying hands on sick people. He's driving out demons. Jesus didn't cure all the sick people in the world. He didn't even cure all the sick people in Palestine. So why is he doing this? It's part of his preaching. Jesus is teaching us what God is like. For example, by reaching out to the sick, Jesus is teaching me that God reaches out kindly and graciously to the parts of me that are weak. Those places within me that are frail, that I'm not proud of, that I don't want anyone to know about - those are the places that Jesus wants to care for. Those are the places where Jesus wants to be with me. Those are the places where Jesus is especially loving to me. Jesus didn't go from town to town saying, "Bring me your best and your brightest." Jesus went from town to town reaching out to the sick and the sinners. Jesus went from town to town preaching the good news of a God who knows that we're not perfect, that there's a dark side to our lives, that we're weak, that we've got some bad memories, that we're sinful... and that God wants to be with us in those parts of our lives. Jesus was criticized for the kind of people he mingled with. Do you remember his response? He said, "The healthy don't need a doctor. The sick do. I have come for sinners." We all know that Jesus went around curing the sick. But we can forget why he did it. He did it to teach us that he came to be with us in those parts of our lives where we don't feel so good about ourselves. He came to say, not simply "I love you," but to say, "I love you there... in the part of your life no one else sees. I love you, weaknesses and all." If you get a chance today, or sometime this week, spend some time with the Lord talking about that part of you that you probably don’t want others to see. Experience His healing, loving, strengthening touch. And experience first-hand why we call the story of Jesus - the "good news."

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