5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Sunday February 8, 2015
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

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Gospel Mk 1: 29-39

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 him 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 him 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, he 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.” He 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.

Gospel Markos 1: 29-39

29 Jesus sinagogatik atera eta Simonen eta Andresen etxera joan zen zuzenean, Santiago eta Joanekin. 30 Simonen amaginarreba oheratua zegoen sukarrez; berehala, hartaz hitz egin zioten Jesusi. 31 Joan zitzaion ondora, eskutik hartu eta jaikiarazi egin zuen. Sukarrak alde egin zion, eta zerbitzatzen hasi zitzaien.

32 Arratsean, eguzkia sartu ondoren, gaixo eta deabrudun guztiak eraman zizkioten Jesusi.

33 Herri osoa bildu zitzaion atarian. 34 Eta hark gaixo asko sendatu zituen, edozein zela ere haien gaitza, eta deabru asko bota ere bai. Deabruei ez zien hitzik egiten uzten, bazekiten-eta nor zen. 35 Goizean goiz, oraindik ilun zegoela, Jesus herritik irten eta bazter bakarti batera joan zen; han otoitzean ari zen. 36 Simon eta lagunak haren bila hasi ziren; 37 aurkitzean, esan zioten: –Jende guztia zure bila dabil. 38 Hark, ordea, erantzun: –Goazen beste norabait, inguruko auzoetara, horietan ere berri ona hots egitera, horretarako atera bainaiz. 39 Eta Galilea guztian barrena ibili zen, hango sinagogetan berri ona hots egiten eta deabruak botatzen.

Why to Pray?

Amid his intense activity of an itinerant prophet, Jesus always took especial care to have constant communication with God his Father in silence and solitude. The Gospels have preserved for us the vivid memory of his praying habit, which must have caused deep impression in his disciples: Jesus often withdrew at night to pray.

Today’s episode narrated by Mark helps us to understand what prayer meant for Jesus. The day before Jesus had a hard day. Jesus “cured many sick.” He had a terribly “successful” day and Capernaum was shocked and speechless: “The whole town gathered around Jesus. Everyone talked about him. All wanted to see and touch him.”

That same night, at “dawn,” between three and six o’clock, Jesus gets up and, without telling his disciples, withdrew into the open. “There he began to pray.” He needs to be alone with his Father. He does not let himself be flattered by his success. He only wishes to do the will of the Father: to master the way his Father wants him to walk.

Surprised by his absence, Simon and the other disciples run after to get him. They did not hesitate to disturb his conversation with God. They just want to keep him, “Everyone is looking for you.” But Jesus does not allow himself to be programed or controlled from outside. Jesus is totally focused in his Father’s project. This project is about building God’s Kingdom in the here and now of the history. Nothing and nobody can make him turn away from this mission.

Jesus has no interest in staying on to enjoy his success and popularity in Capernaum. He will not yield to popular enthusiasm. On the contrary, there are villages, which have not yet heard the Good News of God so he invites his disciples: “Come on … let’s go there too to preach the Good News.”

One of the most comforting features in contemporary Christianity, also noticeable in our parish, is to see how in many believers the need to care more carefully the communication with God, silence and meditation are awakening. The most lucid and responsible Christians want to drag the Christian Communities of today to lead and live a contemplative way. It is an urgent task.

However, many of us Christians usually do not know any longer to be alone with the Father; many are afraid of being alone and in silence and for this reason prefer to live distracted among the many gadgets modern technology offers us. Even theologians, preachers and catechists talk much about God, but speak very little with Him. Jesus’ custom to pray alone with the father has been forgotten long time ago. In our parishes, we conduct many meetings, but often we forget to retire to take a rest in the presence of God to feel and experience His life giving peace.

We are inclined more and more to do things, to accomplish goals and to program activities, in short, to control Jesus, than to let ourselves be guided by Jesus. We risk falling into hyperactive pastoral behavior, which make us wear out quickly and get empty inside. As a result, our problem is not having many problems, but rather, not having the necessary inner spiritual strength to face them.

Otoitz egiteko geratu egin behar da. Barne-bakea lortzeko “denpora galtzen” ikasi behar dugu: Jaunaren aurrean, ixilean, bakarrik, otoitz egiten, “denpora galtzen” ikastea beharrezkoa dugu.