Celebrate Sunday Mass - 2.7.21

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2/7/2021 (2 months ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

February 7, 2021 -- The Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO SUNDAY MASS ON THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME in the Catholic Diocese of Tyler. The response to offering these liturgies online has been overwhelming. The readings, as always, offer so much for us to reflect on. It is helpful to pray through them and reflect upon them before we assist at Holy Mass.

The first reading is an excerpt from the seventh chapter of the Book of Job. The Book of Job helps point out the path to authentic spirituality and mature faith. We are called to know, love and serve the Lord, not because of what we get out of it, but because of who He is. 

The background of the Book is a dispute between Satan, whom the New Testament rightly refers to as the "accuser of the brethren" (Rev. 12:10), and the Lord. Satan contends that Job served God for what He received from Him - not for who God is. This was not true. And Jobs' response to all that befalls him in the chapters which follow in this extraordinary account demonstrates this.

At the beginning of this book, we find a key which helps to unlock the mystery of true faith and can assist us in living an authentic spirituality. At the time of Job, many people were of the mind that difficulties and struggles in life were a result of sin. After his own wife told him to "...curse God and die" Job spoke these words of caution and wisdom to her, "Are even you going to speak as senseless women do? We accept good things from God; and should we not accept evil? "(Job 2:10)

Later, during a discourse with three alleged friends of his - all of whom were telling Job that he is responsible for his own suffering - Job added the following acclamation which gets to the heart of the mettle of this great man named Job, "...even if He slay me, I will hope in Him." (Job 13:15). In other words, Job served the Lord not for what he would receive from Him, but simply because He was the Lord. 

Our passage for this Sundays Mass is taken from the middle of this discourse with his so called "friends". Job is speaking of his sufferings and all the calamities which have befallen him. These struggles do not detract Job from staying faithful to the Lord. Nor does he believe they are they punishment from the Lord. They are a test, which he shall pass. He shows us the way to do the same when we suffer difficulties. Yes, ask the Lord to help us. Even to remove them. But, if they continue, always stay faithful to the Lord. 

Our second reading is taken from the Apostle Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. It shows us this great Apostle's evangelical heart. He is "under compulsion" he says, to preach the Gospel. He "...becomes all things to all persons" to bring them all to faith in Jesus Christ and then lead them to Baptism into the mystical Body of Christ, the Church.  

Do we feel this way about our own life? Do we see ourselves as missionaries? We should. Because we are. Jesus is the Savior the Father sent for all men and women. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (John 14:6) All of us are called to tell this Good News to the whole world. How are we doing?

In the Gospel passage we will hear at Holy Mass, we continue along in the first chapter of St Marks account. Jesus is engaged in his public ministry and the Kingdom of God is breaking through in His words and His deeds. All that was promised in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, about the promised Messiah - healing, setting people free from the grip of the devil, and establishing the Kingdom of God - is occurring. 

Those with eyes of living faith, who walk with Him, or witness His public ministry, can see it. Those who looked for a different type of Kingdom, a different kind of Messiah, a political or temporal liberator, cannot see it. The Kingdom which Jesus is establishing was not about Him overthrowing the occupying Roman army. 

It was about overthrowing the devil, destroying death, pushing back the works of darkness, and bridging the gap which our own sins had created between us and the Father. We could not save ourselves. We needed a Savior. He was the One sent from the Father. He was the sinless One who would go to the cross and pay the penalty our own sins had incurred, setting us truly free.

JESUS heals Peters Mother-in-Law, and she gets up and serves Him. He raises her by the hand. He does the same for all men and women who turn to Him. That includes you and me. Then, the crowds began to bring all the sick and the demon possessed to Him. He healed many and cast out many demons. But, this Jesus, fully divine, but fully man, was tired. 

In the morning, He rose and went to a lonely place to pray. But his disciples told Him "...everyone is looking for you." 

Everyone is still looking for Jesus Christ, whether they know it or not. And, our task, as His contemporary disciples, His missionaries in today's age, is to bring them to Him. We are the ones through whom He continues His Mission. We are called to bring the whole world to the foot of the Cross and the empty tomb.  

Do we believe this? Do we do it? We should, and we can.  

 May the Lord bless you, your families, the Church, and the Nations of the world on this Lord's Day.   

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation

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