Daily Reflection
February 6th, 2000
Larry Gillick, S.J.
Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
The Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Job 7:1-4, 6-7
Psalms 147:1-6
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Mark 1:29-39

God's man Job cries out in great misery in today's First Reading.  If you are having a good day today, you might smile at hearing his lament and say to yourself, "I've been there."  If you are having a not-so-good day, when you hear his dejection you might mumble to yourself, "I'm there Pal, but they'll never write a book with my name for a title, like you got, so get over it!"

Job is like a boat that has lost its sail, compass, rudder and keel.  He is adrift in self-dejection and pity.  He has lost everything and so has lost himself in himself.  Everything has been taken away and so he has nothing to give.  This man's search for meaning has landed him on the "pity-pot" of life and it seems this is where the journey ends.

In today's Second Reading Paul finds meaning in being a person who has within him a fire to preach the gospel.  Paul's sail is his own spirit, his keel is his faith and his rudder the desire to help save whom he can.  Paul finds his meaning in being part of God's being made known through his, Paul's preaching.  Paul has been given much and is desperate to share it. 

We watch Jesus going about doing something good.  He is the "good News" and His meaning is within Him which cannot be taken away.  We see Him cure a friend and then go off to pray.  This praying is the experience to which we are invited ourselves, before going off to do something good with Him. "Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also." 

Job has lost his meaning by losing all his worldly goods and family.  Many of us have had similar losses, but have maintained faith and meaning.  Jesus offers us His experience of prayerfully receiving Himself and thereby moved to move on to other towns.  Is meaning achieved or received?  If it is achieved then it can be taken or lost.  Paul renounced all his achievements so as to live in the power of the resurrection.  Jesus was freed to be on the move, because of His firm sense of Who He was and what was His meaning. 

Our meaning is based in our being in Christ's goodness.  If you have a good secret, or joke, you just can't wait to share it.  The good wants to be distributed.  Job lost his sense of being good by losing his goods.  We are, each one of us, good, and that cannot be taken, but only shared.  We can easily forget our goodness and that after all, is why we pray.  Jesus went off to pray before going off.  We will follow Him in sharing His goodness to the degree we are reminded in our prayer, just who we are.  Prayer then is the experience of being found and then sent rather than being lost and meaningless.

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