Gospel Reflections

5th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Mark 1:29-39

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Marna Rogers

Published: February 04, 2018

"... No sooner had the fever left than she was up fixing dinner for them,,,"

Were I presiding and preaching today, I would invite the women in the Congregation to stand, and ask the family, neighbors, friends and strangers to pray in gratitude for the women there, and all women everywhere, who do so much for all of us, often at great personal cost.

I encourage you to quietly recall moments in your own family when your mothers and grandmothers have done the same.  After a birth, following a hospital visit, in the midst of domestic violence, walking for days carrying a child, and the minimal things to establish a sense of home in a refugee camp, the burden often sits with great dignity on the shoulders of women.

Just prior to this passage, Jesus had had a very emotional encounter with a person possessed. He surely needed the quiet of a home setting and a good meal,  just to unwind from the day's events.

But his first task was to be asked to tend to Simon's mother-in-law.  His evening continued with all who had afflictions of every kind, seeking a cure, "...the whole city lined up at his door..." She had nurtured him with a good meal, and a moment's pause in his day.

Finally, in the quiet of the very early dawn, he left to go and pray, readying himself for the day's encounters.  Simon, Andrew, James and John soon found him and told him, "...Everybody's looking for you..." Jesus said, "Let's go...this is why I have come..."

After his Baptism, Jesus spent time with people in small intimate settings.  This gave him such an immediate sense of the people, and what their lives were like.  The families where mental illness buffeted them all with its unpredictability and sadness (and violence), curing those possessed seemed an especial kindness and immediate relief.  Today, in my city, we are mourning the loss of a single mother of five at the hands of one of her children. I cannot truly imagine what her days have been like over the years of knowing/living with her son's diagnosis.  I want to believe someone accompanied her.

May we have a space where the day's events will be our offering to God, and the gleaned wisdom of those encounters will give us insight and courage for what lies ahead.

•  • Marna Rogers, SND • 


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