February 8, 2009
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are the Son of God, who became man so that you could deliver us from sin and open the gates of heaven for us. I hope in you because you are mercy itself and because you seek my true good in every instant. I love you and long for my love to grow since you deserve to be absolutely first in my life. Thank you for these moments of intimacy with you now.
Petition: Lord, grant me the grace to embrace my mission as a Christian.
1. “Rising Very Early Before Dawn… He Prayed.”
Jesus has been completely occupied all day in healing anyone in the town with ailments and demons, yet he has the energy, conviction and determination to rise early to pray. True prayer, true dialogue with God is necessary for a disciple of Christ. Without it, we will have nothing to give to others. Prayer needs to be a priority in our life if we wish to be faithful followers of Christ.
2. “Let Us Go On”
Peter found Our Lord in a deserted place at prayer. An ordinary man would have gone back and met all the people who wanted to praise him. An ordinary man would have been open to another evening of healing at Peter’s house. But Our Lord gently lets Peter know that he is much more than just an ordinary man. “Let us go on….” In these words we see Christ’s heart. He has come to fulfill the Father’s will and to save souls. “Let us go on.…” There is no time to waste. “Let us go on.…” He wants to reach many other souls, to feed them with his words, for he is the Word. He wants to protect them from those who would tear them apart with their lies and deceptions. They need him. “Let us go on….” Does my heart resonate with this invitation? Are my horizons broad when it comes to transmitting Christ to others?
3. Do Not Fail Him!
Pope John Paul the Great spoke to the Catholic young people of the world in Denver in 1993. He told them not to fail Christ. Christ was placing in their hands a share in his own mission. They were to go out to the whole world; they were to proclaim the good news of salvation. Let us go and give Christ to others. We cannot hold back. In prayer we must hear Christ’s words: “Let us go on.” He will preach through us, through our example, prayer and sacrifices. He will preach through our reaching out to our brothers and sisters in true charity. He will make himself heard if we generously offer ourselves to him. Let us go on; let us not fail him through our lack of faith, confidence or love. Let us not turn back because of our selfishness, pride or laziness. Let us go on!
Conversation with Christ: Lord, you came that we may have life and have it to the full. You love us so much. Open my heart to the greatness of your love for all mankind. Help me to see that the Church is your bride and the universal sacrament of salvation. Grant that I may serve you as a faithful son or daughter of the Church, spreading your word ever further.
Resolution: I will transmit a Christian message to someone today.
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