Scripture Reading Reflection
by Fr. Andrew Kelly
FIFTH SUNDAY ORDINAL TIME — Feb. 8, 2015
The believing community is as flat on its back with fever as Simon’s mother-in-law in Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 1:29-39). The community is so paralyzed nothing can be accomplished pastorally or apostolically. A question: Is the community spiritually willing to allow the risen Lord to do what Jesus did for Simon’s mother-in-law?
“Jesus came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.”
Without day-in-and day-out prayerful awareness of the risen Lord’s presence always lifting up, the community continually loses focus and becomes functionally paralyzed.
Another question: How does the community keep itself focused and spiritually limber and agile in Jesus’ ministry and mission? The community does what Jesus did: “…Jesus got up and went out to a deserted place, and there Jesus prayed.”
In the prayerful stillness and silence, Jesus had to move away from the paralyzing pressure of Simon’s agenda. In prayer, it became very clear to Jesus, just as it will become very clear to the community, healing must lead to ministry and mission: “…so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)