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1ST READING Jb 7: 1-4, 6-7 // RESPONSORIAL PSALM PSALM Ps. 147 // 2ND READING READING 1 Cor 9: 16-19 // GOSPEL READING Mk 1: 29-39

FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

By: Eufrosino Solibar, OFM

After the service of preaching and healing in the synagogue in Capernaum, with his four new recruit disciples, he left the synagogue and most probably he was invited by Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, for they are living nearby the synagogue, to stay for a while in their home of which Jesus accepted. “On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John” (Mark 1: 29). So Jesus and his four companions left the synagogue and came to the house of Simon and Andrew. As described by the archeologists, the house of Simon and Andrew was made of stones and hard wood, for they were not ordinary fishermen. In this house also lived Simon?s wife and children, and his mother-in-law, and his brother Andrew. It was not clear whether or not Andrew had family of his own (was married with children). It was silent also whether they have or have no other brothers and sisters, and relatives living in that house (extended family members).

When Jesus entered the house of the two brothers, the mother-in-law of Simon was sick, she had a fever. “Simon mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached her, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever let her and she waited on them” (Mark 1: 30-31). Maybe Simon will introduce his wife and children, and his mother-in-law to Jesus, but he found out that his mother-in-law was sick with fever in bed. So, immediately they told him that he cannot see his mother-in-law for she laid down in bed sick. And so, as a good healer and compassionate Lord, he was moved with pity for the old woman for she cannot perform her usual works, i.e., cooking, tending her grandchildren and cleaning the house. Jesus entered the room of the sick woman, introduced himself, and with gentle touch he approached her, grasped her hand and helped her to stand up from her bed of sickness. And she was cured instantly. What she did after gaining her health, she cooked food and served Jesus like a loving mother. Maybe Jesus remembered Mary whom he left in Nazareth; how is she doing? Is she well without sick? How about you, us, do you remember your / our parents? Are you / we sending them financial support for their monthly check-up and medicine? Do you pray for their safety, good health, malayo sa sakuna at aksidente, at karamdaman? Malayo sa covid-19 at variant?

What had happened in the synagogue that morning, the curing of the possessed demon, became known to the whole town of Capernaum. So many sick parents, brothers and sisters, relatives, and friends and neighbors, almost all peoples in the town went to the house of Simon and Andrew thinking their loved ones will be cured also by Jesus. “When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him” (Mark 1: 32-34). Jesus is likened to the doctor in the barrio except he has power and authority to heal and expel evil spirits by the power of his word. He is like a doctor or heath worker in the frontline which is supposedly done by the priests ? chief priests and ? or high priests in the Temple. And they did not go wrong, for almost all sick were cured by Jesus and brought back to their good conditions and health, even those possessed by demons were cured. Truly the Reign-Kingdom of God is in their midst.

It is the nature of Jesus to wake up early before dawn to pray to his Father, the God of all good things. “Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed” (Mark 1: 35). He communed and connected to his Father with thanksgiving and praises for the past day and as if he was reporting to what had happened before, the many sick people he cured and the possessed by demons he expelled. He also consulted his Father for the next day activity he will perform and do. How about us, do we wake up early in the morning to pray, to give thanks and praises for the many gifts we received He has given to us? Do we tell Him about what we did yesterday? Do we also present to Him our plan for tomorrow? What is important is our constant communication and connection to our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Simon and Andrew, James and John woke up early as the fishermen do, they wake up early to prepare their nets and boats and paddle for fishing. When they woke up they found that Jesus was not in his bed. There were other people outside the house some were still sleeping while others were already awoke, for some of them were fishermen. They remained in the vicinity of the house of Simon and Andrew thinking they will become also Jesus? disciples and followers. “Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him he said, ?Everyone is looking for you.? He told them, ?Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come?.” (Mark 1: 36-38). Simon and his companions looked for Jesus, and accompanied by others who were already awoke, until they found him. And when they found him, they said that others were looking for him to receive cure from sickness and possession of demons at that such time as early before sunrise. But Jesus revealed to them his plan that he consulted to his Father, that is, “For this purpose I have come, to go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also.”

After saying this, they left Capernaum. They journeyed on the boat of Simon and Andrew, while others to the boat of James and John. “So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole Galilee” (Mark 1: 39). Jesus entered and continued preaching into their synagogues the Reign-Kingdom of God throughout the whole region of Galilee and healing the sicknesses and driving out demons of many Galileans.