February 7, 2021: A Reflection for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Mark 1:29-39

Jesus approached her, grasped her hand her hand, and helped her up.  Then the fever left her.  (Mk 1:31)

You hear our hearts, Jesus, even when we can’t find words.  Maybe it’s better that we don’t flood you with words…  Maybe we just need to come to you as we are:  poor, needy children who are trying to make sense out of mystery and our earthly sojourn.  Your heart carries our restlessness and our longing for shade and rest, even for just a little while. And so, here we are, each of us longing for your healing touch, your understanding heart.

Jesus, you were given.  Given to the Father in the mystery of what it is to be human and divine, and to live this out in both the tediousness and joys of everyday life.  You came that we may have life and have it abundantly. The life you came to share is the givenness of yourself to the Father and in today’s Gospel we see your response to human suffering and how you lived out your mission. You were given to the Father and given to us.  Peter’s mother-in-law, in her need, reveals how you respond when you encounter our suffering.  You become fully involved, totally given.   You grasped her by the hand and pulled her up. You became her servant. You didn’t just offer a prayer, as good as that truly is, but you gave of yourself. You didn’t take the easy way out. She felt the infusion of life and healing and, to use one of Mark’s favorite words, “she immediately waited on them.” It seems that your touch, Jesus, not only heals but commissions us to be servants of one another. To move out of self-preoccupation and do what we can to lighten the load of another, in whatever way is possible for us. Your healing empowers us to be given, too.  Given to the Father in the service of love.

Hear the depths of our hearts this day and always, as we yield ourselves to your transforming love. Grab us by the hand, pull us up into your resurrected life of self-giving love and service. Help us to receive your commission to be your hands and heart in this world. To be given to you and therefore, to one another. And when we can’t find words, let us rest in the stillness of our hearts, given to you out of love.