OMELIE / Omelie EN

04 feb 2024
04/02/2024 – 5th Sunday in O. T. - B

04/02/2024 – 5th Sunday in O. T. - B

Reading 1 JOB 7,1-4.6-7 Psalm 146 Reading 2 1 COR 9,16-19.22-23 Gospel MK 1,29-39

When Jesus comes into the world it almost seems like an infinite number of troubles is there waiting for Him. Sick people are dragged in front of Him, and those sick people who can, run to Him. Men and women, sick and healthy, all are waiting for His coming, His presence, for a word of His, a touch of His.

Among the sick, many are possessed: what does this mean? These are people in whose soul, in that time, the Holy Spirit is not in charge with His fruits and His gifts: in them instead show up impatience, impurity, arrogance, dissatisfaction, fear of the future or fear of the past, fear of God and fear of men, vanity or pride, intimidation or suspicion, envy of others and jealousy because of their success, and many other spirits, from which come anxiety and suffering for themselves and others.

These are all signs of the presence of unclean spirits or the devil, which want to disturb and destroy the people and prevent them from showing their similarity with God, being what they have been created to be.

Job, with his words, gives us an idea of how much suffering there is in the world: “I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights” and “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle; they come to an end without hope”. The people who are suffering because of these spirits, inside themselves or in people close to them, are waiting for a savior, the freer. Here He is, God has sent Him!

Jesus leaves the synagogue in which he had freed a man from a rebel and violent spirit, able to recognise Jesus’s holiness but not to welcome Him and love Him. On the contrary, it wanted to prevent the people gathered for the prayer from appreciating Him and listening to Him. By seeing how the Lord had freed Him, His disciples find the courage and accompany Him in the house to be with Simon’s mother in law, feverish, and so unable to tend to her daily tasks. He, without fear of becoming unclean by touching a sick person, touches her. His hand is holy, and His touch makes the reason for uncleanness disappear, makes sickness disappear.

That woman does not feel “healed”, but able again to “be of service”. In fact, for people health is the ability to be of service, in particular to serve Jesus. Consequently, “the whole town” rushes over, bringing Jesus all their sufferings: He does not disappoint anyone.

But did Jesus come only to heal from sickness? In the night He goes to listen to the Father: He is His life. If the Father is the life for Him, He will be so also for all men. In the intimacy with the Father He discovers that, beyond freedom from sickness and unclean spirits, humanity has another need, far more urgent. Men are without hope because they do not know that the kingdom of God has begun, they do not know that He, Jesus, is the King who can guide them, He is the King of the long awaited Kingdom. It is necessary for Him, Jesus, to make Himself known so everyone can see the king of the kingdom, so they can follow Him and learn from Him the life which loves. They who are healed from the sickness and the spirits will be able to love. This is why they will become His disciples.

This is what Saint Paul has understood too, after having met the risen Jesus. Today He firmly tells us about his intention to preach the Gospel, the formidable news that the kingdom has begun, the King is present, that we can serve Him. For Saint Paul preaching the Gospel is life, it is as important as breathing. He has made it the goal of his existence, and he lives it gratefully, like it was the reward for the efforts he makes to continue to announce the good news to everyone and everywhere.

If only I could too make the Gospel the goal of my life! There would not be space anymore for those feelings complained of by Job, discouragement and sadness.

The Gospel, when we preach it, makes us witness of the risen Jesus, witness to His presence today, sharing His victory over death. “All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it”! I, before anyone else, will be joyful!