February 7, 2021: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Associate Pastor’s Corner
What if you were the first one in line?
What if, after you had seen Jesus, over and over again, seeing miracle after miracle, cure after cure, he encourages the crowd to go home. That the Lord had been working all day, and that he is exhausted. So you say to yourself, He is with us all week! I know what I will do. I will go home and get some rest. Then I will wake early and see him first thing. Then how happy I will be, healed from my ailment!
And the next morning comes, and indeed you wake early, indeed, you are first in line—how excited you are!—waiting with Peter and the brothers James and John, waiting on Him to perform yet another miracle.
Yet, Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” What if you were the first one in line?
If we look at all of the healings that Jesus performs, we would notice that Jesus heals for a purpose. There is a particular reason why this person or that is cured. Look at the Man Born Blind—He was healed for as to be an avatar for us to see and to believe that Jesus is the prince who was promised. When, on a Sabbath, a crippled man was brought before him in front of a synagogue full of scribes and teachers, he healed to the Sabbath to shame the rigid and to exemplify that the Lord is the Lord of the Sabbath. And in today’s Gospel, Jesus heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law in order to link healing and service when it comes to the Law of Love. Jesus doesn’t cure a person randomly, he has a purpose. We read, He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” Jesus had descended from His Father’s House to earth, not only to bring about a cure to sickness, but to preach there also. As in, to speak the Word of Truth and Compassion to Jews and Gentiles, to build friendships between human beings and the Father Creator. Jesus Christ is not only a man who heals the sick, but He was sent by His Father to build a community of devout believers, to bring union between humanity and God, to help give birth to the Church and the Church’s Sacramental way of life.
But this is not to say that Jesus is callous. Far from it! Jesus, when He had interacted with others while on the road 2,000 years ago, or even with us today, He always, in one way or the other, brings, not only a cure, but healing. To say that a person is cured to is to say that a bodily malfunction has been rectified or a disease has been expelled from a person’s body. Covid-19 or the cancer is gone. Yet to say that a person is healed—ah, that is far more important! To be healed means that you have been brought to fulfillment, brought to a sense of completion, brought to a state flourishing. For many are cured of a disease but not truly healed; others are healed but not truly cured; a relative few are both healed and cured.
During this Our Lady of Lourdes Novena (February 3-11), we pray for healing, for ourselves, for our loved ones, for our enemies. We pray, in a special way, those who are suffering, those who have died of Covid-19 and their families. Thank you for those who have joined me in this novena. For those of us late to the party, come on in, there is plenty of praying left to do.
Novena Mass and preaching is in the morning at 8:00 am (after 7:15 am Morning Prayer) and the Holy Rosary is recited after Evening Prayer (5:00 pm) with the Dominican Friars. All of these services are offered on the St. Dominic’s Church YouTube channel, via livestream.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us!
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!
- Fr. Isaiah Mary