5th Sunday in Ordinary Time [b]

Engaging Faith | Mon, Jan 30, 2012

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Center of Concern

Lectionary reflections for February 5, 2012.

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time [b]
February 5, 2012

Job 7:1-4, 6-7
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Mark 1:29-39

February is African American History Month
February 5: National Day of Prayer for the African American Family
February 5: Super Bowl Sunday
February 11: World Day of the Sick [Feast of Our Lady at Lourdes]


Individual initiative alone and the mere free play of competition could never assure successful development. One must avoid the risk of increasing still more the wealth of the rich and the dominion of the strong, whilst leaving the poor in their misery and adding to the servitude of the oppressed.
                   --Pope Paul IV, 1967, On the Development of Peoples, #33

Love for others, and in the first place love for the poor, in whom the Church sees Christ himself, is made concrete in the promotion of justice.
                              ~ John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 1991

As Christians, we know that we are called to bear witness before the world to the "glorious Gospel" which Christ has given to us (cf. 2 Cor. 4:4). In his name, let us unite our efforts in order to be at the service of peace and reconciliation, justice and solidarity, especially at the side of the poor and the least of the earth.
John Paul II, 25 January 2003

The beauty that will save the world is the love that shares the pain.
Cardinal Martini

Full employment is the foundation of a just economy. The most urgent priority for domestic economic policy is the creation of new jobs with adequate pay and decent working conditions. We must make it possible as a nation for everyone who is seeking a job to find employment within a reasonable amount of time. Our emphasis on this goal is based on the conviction that human work has a special dignity and is a key to achieving justice in society.
Pastoral Letter of the US Bishops, Economic Justice for All, 136

Thoughts for your consideration

In the first reading, Job uses the image of oppressed workers. He talks of a worker who sees all of life as drudgery, a slave who longs for the shade, and a hireling who waits for wages.  Oppressive treatment of workers is not in God’s plan. Catholic Social Teaching tries to speak up for oppressed labor.  It is not God’s desire that human beings be oppressed by any form of slavery or be inadequately compensated for their work.  It is not God’s desire that human beings be treated as simply “tools” for production.  God calls us to create a society where everyone has meaningful work with a living wage.  God calls us to be part of a world where we can all be creative human beings working for and enjoying the benefits of the world God has given us.

In the gospel Jesus spends a day dealing with those who are burdened by sickness or various demons. Jesus offers healing.  God desires healing.  Catholic Social Teaching reminds us that God wants good things for all the people.  Personal, loving care for those in need is at the heart of our religious practice. Adequate health care is a human right for all God’s people.  God calls us to create a society where everyone has access to health care.

Catholic Social Teaching is a powerful message to share with our world as it faces so many problems. There is something exciting when it is shared with the world.  It is a source of liberation.  Jesus desires to move on to the other towns and keep sharing the message with everyone.  In the second reading, Paul talks of his great desire to make any sacrifice to share the power of this good news.  Our social teaching can be a source of liberation for all in need. It is to be shared free of charge to everyone. 

God is concerned with our human needs. 
God wants us to get into action.

Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

When in your life have you felt the need for healing or when did your community need healing? How did healing come about?


How does our nation need healing?
How are we being called to promote such healing?

On this Super Bowl Sunday, we might look at this story from Anthony DeMello’s The Song of the Bird:”

"Jesus Christ said he had never been to a football match. So we took him to one, my friends and I. It was a ferocious battle between the Protestant Punchers and the Catholic Crusaders.

The Crusaders scored first. Jesus cheered wildly and threw his hat high up in the air. Then the Punchers scored. And Jesus cheered wildly and threw his hat high up in the air.

This seemed to puzzle the man behind us. He tapped Jesus on the shoulder and asked. “Which side are you barracking for, mate?”

“Me?” replied Jesus, by now visibly excited by the game. “Oh! I’m not barracking for either side. I’m just here to enjoy the game.”

The questioner turned to his neighbor and sneered, “Hmm, an atheist!”

Actions - Links

The Poverty in America Living Wage Calculator was developed by Penn State University. The calculator allows you to see what one needs to earn to meet basic expenses in every county in the U.S. and what prevailing wage rates are for different categories of workers in those counties.  You can find it at

February 11 [The Feast of Our Lady at Lourdes] is the World Day of the Sick.
You can find messages from Benedict XVI at
You can find previous messages from John Paul II at:
In the generous and loving welcoming of every human life, above all of weak and sick life, a Christian expresses an important aspect of his or her Gospel witness, following the example of Christ, who bent down before the material and spiritual sufferings of man in order to heal them.
Benedict XVI, Message for the 20th World Day of the Sick, 2012

The fifteenth annual “Gandhi-King-Chavez Season for Nonviolence” is January 30–April 4, 2012. For info go to
“A season for Nonviolence, January 30 - April 4, is a national 64-day educational, media, and grassroots campaign dedicated to demonstrating that nonviolence is a powerful way to heal, transform, and empower our lives and our communities. Inspired by the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this international event honors their vision for an empowered, nonviolent world.”

“Crazy Facts”

“More than 10 million children in developing countries die before reaching their fifth birthday each year. Roughly 70 percent of these deaths are caused by preventable conditions: pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, measles, and malnutrition. To put it bluntly, every day 20,000 children are killed by conditions that could be prevented or cured with simple, affordable remedies – vaccinations, bed-nets, food, clean drinking water and antibiotics.”
Partners in Health,

Prayers of Intercession

Response:  Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.
God calls us to drive out the demons of selfishness and injustice and create a world renewed. We pray…..
God calls us to create a world where everyone has meaningful work. We pray….
God calls us to be sure that every worker receives a living wage. We pray….
God calls us to create a world where everyone has access to health care. We pray….
God calls us to stop abusing our planet and use our environment responsibly. We pray….
God calls us to put an end to all the violence, all the wars, and all the preparations for war. We pray….
God calls us to drive out the demons of selfishness and injustice and create a world renewed. We pray…..

Prayers - Meditations

Father, you have given all peoples one common origin.
It is your will that they be gathered together
as one family in yourself.
Fill the hearts of mankind with the fire of your love
and with the desire to ensure justice for all.
By sharing the good things you give us,
may we secure an equality for all
our brothers and sisters throughout the world.
May there be an end to division, strife and war.
May there be a dawning of a truly human society
built on love and peace.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord.  Amen.
From the 1970 Catholic Sacramentary


Let us, then, pray with all fervor for this peace which our divine Redeemer came to bring us. May He banish from the souls of all whatever might endanger peace. May He transform all people into witnesses of truth, justice and love. May He illumine with His light the minds of rulers, so that, besides caring for the proper material welfare of their peoples, they may also guarantee them the fairest gift of peace.

Finally, may Christ inflame the desires of all people to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong. Through His power and inspiration may all peoples welcome each other to their hearts as sisters and brothers, and may the peace they long for ever flower and ever reign among them.

~ John XXIII, Pacem in Terris

For a poster to use for reflection on today’s second reading go to:

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