Lectionary Reflections: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time [b] February 8, 2015

Engaging Faith | Thu, Feb 5, 2015

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

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time [b]

February 8, 2015

Copyright © 2015 Center of Concern


Job 7:1-4, 6-7

1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23

Mark 1:29-39



February is African American History Month

February 11: World Day of the Sick [Feast of Our Lady at Lourdes]

February 18: Ash Wednesday



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 every one 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


Wisdom of the heart means going forth from ourselves towards our brothers and sisters. 

- Pope Francis, Message for World Day of the Sick 2015


… the lives of all take priority over the appropriation of goods by a few.

- Pope Francis, 28 October 2015


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, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and where the values of society put people first.

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.  In the gospel 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 be get into action.

As Pope Francis said last October 28: “Solidarity … means fighting against the structural causes of poverty and inequality; of the lack of work, land and housing; and of the denial of social and labor rights. It means confronting the destructive effects of the empire of money: forced dislocation, painful emigration, human trafficking, drugs, war, violence and all those realities that many of you suffer and that we are all called upon to transform.”


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?


How do you experience the reality of inequality in our society?

How can we address the problems of inequality in our society?



The Mirror with a Malfunction



Actions - Links

World Day of the Sick

February 11 [The Feast of Our Lady at Lourdes] is the World Day of the Sick. 

You can find the message for this day from Pope Francis at

Interfaith Worker Justice

“Interfaith Worker Justice has been organizing, educating and advocating at the intersection of faith and labor since 1996.” Check out their web pages at  

Advocate online at: 


12 Ways to Fight Poverty

Read about twelve ways to fight poverty:


Poverty in America Living Wage Calculator

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 


Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More

“Global wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small wealthy elite.”  Read the Oxfam report at:


“Crazy Facts”

“The Majority of America's public school children are living in poverty.”

“The report, conducted by the Southern Education Foundation, drew its conclusions from data revealing how many public school children qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.”


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: