5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
During this year of lockdown many will echo Job’s lament, especially those isolating on their own, those having to care for children, work from home, those unable to visit loved ones, those who are frightened. I lie awake at night wondering when will it be day, each day I long for the evening, what is life but care and effort.
We are reminded of the positive side of constant demand, constant effort, not seeming to be in control, in the Gospel. Jesus is pulled one way and the other, he must cure Simon’s mother in law, then people are crowding round till after dark, then long before dawn Our Lord tries to find somewhere quiet to pray but before he’s finished, more demands come, everyone wants him and he still must travel to all the other towns to preach there too.
St Paul puts it in a nutshell. All this effort, all this responding to demands, this being practically a slave to others is worth it if even only one other person learns of God’s love for them.
All Jesus’ activity, his actions, his words, his cures, anticipate the cross when he who is God become man will give up everything he has out of love for us. St Paul recognises that his own efforts can be united with Jesus’ and so share in the cross, it is this that can give meaning to the sadness Job expresses. If we offer our work, our efforts, ourselves with Jesus then the results will share in Jesus’ victory over sin and death and his revealing of Divine Love.
Lent starts a week on Wednesday. Maybe it is hard this year to think of anything to give up, but it would be a great thing to take all our work and difficulties and frustrations and offer them to Jesus, to unite them with him on the cross so that with him they may make the love of God present in the world. To say that this Lent everything I do is done with Jesus fir the sake of others.