5th Sunday in ordinary time


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


Jesus is teaching in the Synagogue (normal) but in his own town (I wonder what his reception would have been like?)       Would the people be welcoming? I’m thinking not as Jesus himself quotes, “A prophet isn’t welcomed in his own town”.   These are the people who knew him since he was born, who grew up with him, who taught him stuff; now Jesus is here to teach them, to challenge some core beliefs they have had, to cause disruption so that he can help them to see a better way.   Well, good luck with that!  Perhaps the easy option was to say See ya later, goodbye now,… or … another way… was to open ourselves.

As we journey through Lent, this is a great little check-in moment to be open to the change or lack of change that you may be experiencing.  If Jesus was here to visit you… what would you like to say? To hear from him?  Perhaps the start is simply acknowledging that Jesus is here with us, waiting for us to welcome him in.  We have a saying we have used for years on our team: “Meet you halfway”.  This is about doing some of the work on yourself, and we trust that Jesus will be here meeting us halfway, but we, too, have to do the work, too. That might look different to different people. It might be to be quiet and listen; it might be to talk, walk, and move through our bodies; it might be to journal and self-reflect or to climb a tree and get in touch with God through nature… doing the work…meeting God halfway.  In his territory or ours… God will be there.

The famous art painting “Creation of Man” expresses the relationship that God has with us.  He meets us halfway…. all we have to do is lift our finger slightly, and God will touch us… so what are you waiting for? Do it!

Jo McDade, Connected to the Passionist Charism and the Passionist Youth Retreat Team in Brisbane.