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5th Sunday in OT (B)

In need of God’s healing power. MARK 1:21–28

By Pearl Alfred

In every book of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, there can be found a specific and outstanding reference of the characteristic of Jesus.

At Christmas, He was as ‘Our Emmanuel—God is with us’. Very often when I feel alone, I remind myself of God’s presence and would whisper quickly to Jesus of His promise, that He would never leave me. Yes! That is the omnipresent Jesus being there in good and bad times.

On this 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus is depicted as ‘The Healer’ referenced in Isaiah 53:5 when it was said “We have been healed by His bruises”. His healing power is evident when Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in-law of her fever.

That astonishing experience served as an invitation to bring all who were sick and those possessed by devils, to be healed by Jesus. With no ostentation, He did what He was sent to do.

All these activities happened after sunset, continuing late into the night. The natural thing to do was to go to sleep after a hectic evening and sleep till daylight.

Instead, Jesus rose long before dawn and went off alone to pray. He saw the need to be energised, to be alone with His Father and He prepared for the new day when new grace is needed.

In this COVID-19 pandemic, families have lost loved ones, there is also job loss, loneliness, anxiety, sexual and emotional abuse, and anger. Every household has been touched by one or more calamity. There is need for God’s healing power.

El Roi, the God who sees and knows each person by name and nature can and will heal. There is need to focus on Jesus the healer, not the problems.

My deceased grandmother used to say “bruise yuh knees, talk to Doctor Jesus first and not to wait till everything else fails”.

Simon’s mother-in-law was healed instantly, and she was ready to offer hospitality. In any event there is assurance that Jesus, the Healer is at work. Put faith in action, claim the healing while staying steadfast in prayer.

Sometimes the healing is not instant. Many persons, accustomed to instant milk and instant coffee, desire quick fixes. The greatest assurance is that Jesus is ever-present to heal. He hears and answers every request. Faith must be put into action, while staying steadfast in prayer.

In His time and according to His will, healing takes place. Jesus is our burden-bearer, and He exhorts all in Psalm 55:22 to “unload your burden onto Yahweh and He will sustain you”. Release everything to Jesus; results are guaranteed.

Sometimes we pray too much for ourselves or we focus on the problems. It is time to start looking outside of self.

Pray for the world leaders, pray for migrants, pray for an end to domestic abuse and violence. Pray for situations that will give glory to God, by honouring Christ who died to save mankind.

Pope Francis asks that money used for building nuclear weapons, be transferred to secure the most vulnerable in our world. Let God take care of all burdens, giving strength and courage, endurance, and perseverance.

See how the burden will be lifted. Little by little we will grow in faith that works through love and the heart of Jesus Christ. Every challenge that is overcome paves the way for obtaining a larger measure of Divine grace.


Let us pray:

Jesus, we believe You are the “Great Physician”, You are the same God yesterday, today and will be forever. We seek Your healing touch on our mind, body and soul. With thanksgiving we pray, “may Your will be done”. Amen.


The gospel reflections for February are by Pearl Clarke Alfred, a parishioner of St Francis of Assisi RC Church, Sangre Grande. She is also a member of The Community of Franciscan House of Prayer, Sangre Grande, and a retired school principal.