February 4, 2024
by name Carol Zuegner
Creighton University -Retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 74

Job 7:1-4, 6-7
Psalms 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Mark 1:29-39

Praying Ordinary Time


Just reading about a day in the life of Jesus in today’s gospel was exhausting. I hadn’t thought before about how the work of healing the sick would be draining and overwhelming. But in the gospel, Mark writes of how the whole town was at the door, all those ill or possessed by demons. Jesus cured many, but it’s so hard emotionally to see so many who are ill in body and spirit. Jesus as a human must have been exhausted and drained. He then did what we all need to consider. He found solitude and prayed. That didn’t last for long as the apostles found him, and Jesus went to continue the work of preaching and praying.

Our own lives often become too full as well and can drain us in mind, body and spirit. Even when it’s good work or family or things we like do to, we need to step back and find that quiet place to pray and reflect. We can turn to Jesus to ask him to refill those reserves that are running on empty. The gospel doesn’t say what Jesus prayed about. I would guess he asked for help to continue to do the work, for patience when it seemed too many people surrounded him, for understanding when the demands seem to be too much.  I have much the same prayer often when I am overwhelmed by work, family demands and my own procrastination. I am lucky to love what I do and to love my family, but sometimes, it’s overwhelming. Taking that time to pray and reflect offers a spiritual and emotional boost. And, then, as Jesus did, I get back to work and juggling responsibilities.

In today’s first reading, we hear from Job, who calls life a drudgery and ends his day without hope. We all feel that way sometimes. But it would be good to remember the words of the psalm where the Lord heals the brokenhearted.

Today, I pray for respite and energy to live my life with hope and love.

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