Scripture: Lectionary #75, Sunday, Feb.5/12: Job 7:1-4.6-7. Psalm 147:1-2.3-4.5-6. I Corinthians 9:16-19.22-23. Mark 1:29-39
Mark is always to the point and is brief and clear about the scenes in Jesus’ life. He rapidly moves ahead like a cameraman as he develops his Gospel dedicated to Jesus Christ Son and Son of God (Mark 1:1). In this Sunday reading from chapter one, Mark summarizes quickly the ministry of Jesus which will help us keep in mind the whole of Jesus work among his people especially among the disciples and the “crowd.” Mark is a skilled narrator who makes it easy for us to follow Jesus and to become one of his reader disciples.
The description of Jesus’ mission includes a few mentions of his need for solitude to pray and to be in union with God, his only Father. The Gospel contrasts with the dour and self-introspection of Job who is filled with sorrow and has a rather negative outlook. Jesus brings hope at once when he heals and preaches.
In the Psalm and its response we see Jesus as a wounded healer among us who pays more attention to our wounds and heals them before realizing how intense his own suffering is and how horrific it will be in his passion, death and then suddenly glorious in his resurrection. The parallels with Job fade away quickly as we read the Psalm just before the Gospel. The Psalm is a good prayer for the rest of this day, “Praise, the Lord who heals the broken hearted.” Jesus knows who he is and relates that to us through the writings of Mark and the other evangelists.
Paul has caught the entire message of Jesus through his conversion experience and has assimilated what the Gospels say about Jesus without citing them. Paul is transformed into a Christ-like model and disciple. Paul is the Apostle to our ancestors who are simply called the “nations.” He like Simeon in the Temple realizes that Jesus is our light and is at the same time the glory of his people Israel. (Luke 2:29-32). Thus in the epistle to the Corinthians he is not only preaching and teaching the Good News about Jesus, he is living it out. Amen.