5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Homily)
Most of us have trouble or difficulty to sleep at night which could be due to stress, illness, mind disturbance, etc. A sleep disorder frequently affect our ability to have a good and quality sleep. I would even say that to have a regular good quality sleep is a gift (from God) because I have encountered many elderly, sick and the dying who suffers from sleep deprivation contributed from the bodily pain and aches.
The first reading from book of Job (Job 7: 1-4, 6-7) speaks, “Lying in bed I wonder, when will it be day? … how slowly day/evening comes!” Perhaps you and I can identify most with Job’s complaint about “nights of grief.” We can identify ourselves with that tossing and turning, lying awake, feeling frustrated and anxious without falling into deep sleep, but constantly disturbed by the effects of illness and pain.
In the gospel (MK 1: 29-39), Jesus is concerned with the illness of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. Simon Peter told Jesus about her fever, and Jesus straightaway approached her and helped her up from her sickness. The Gospel went on saying that the whole town of Capernaum came to the door of Peter’s home, and Jesus healed them all “were suffering from diseases of one kind or another… cast our many devils…” Here, we see Jesus’s humility and compassion in healing the broken-hearted who are standing outside Simon’s door.
On 11 February, the Church will celebrate the 29th World Day of the Sick coinciding with the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and the Holy Father, Pope Francis invites us to pay a special consideration “to the sick and those who provide them with assistance and care both in healthcare institutions and within families and communities.” On this last day, the week of World Interfaith Harmony Week (1-7 February 2021), Jesus too, expects us not to remain in our inner circle but to carry out with the mission of the Church to bring hope and healing to our all neighbours. This includes the elderly, sick, dying, without prejudice of any race or religion, as we work towards fulfilling our desire for peace, an environment of compassion and harmony.
We need to become that instrument of healing for our neighbours and society, at large. Let us remember them and our need for strength and for the healing power in mind and body, and spirit and soul.
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy