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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time [B]

By: John Bucki, SJ

Job 7:1-4, 6-7
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Mark 1:29-39

February is African American History Month
February 5: National Day of Prayer for the African American Family
February 11: World Day of the Sick [Feast of Our Lady at Lourdes]

As Christians, we know that we are called to bear witness before the world to the "glorious Gospel" which Christ has given to us (cf. 2 Cor 4:4). In his name, let us unite our efforts in order to be at the service of peace and reconciliation, justice and solidarity, especially at the side of the poor and the least of the earth.
John Paul II, 25 January 2003

The beauty that will save the world is the love that shares the pain.
Cardinal Martini

Individual initiative alone and the mere free play of competition could never assure successful development. One must avoid the risk of increasing still more the wealth of the rich and the dominion of the strong, whilst leaving the poor in their misery and adding to the servitude of the oppressed.
Pope Paul IV, 1967, On the Development of Peoples, #33

Love for others, and in the first place love for the poor, in whom the Church sees Christ himself, is made concrete in the promotion of justice.
John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 1991

Full employment is the foundation of a just economy. The most urgent priority for domestic economic policy is the creation of new jobs with adequate pay and decent working conditions. We must make it possible as a nation for every one who is seeking a job to find employment within a reasonable amount of time. Our emphasis on this goal is based on the conviction that human work has a special dignity and is a key to achieving justice in society.
Pastoral Letter of the US Bishops, Economic Justice for All, 136

Thoughts for Your Consideration
In the first reading Job uses the image of oppressed workers í¢â‚¬" a worker who sees all of life as drudgery, a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for wages. Oppressive treatment of workers is not in God's plan. Catholic Social Teaching tries to speak up for oppressed labor. It is not God's desire that human beings be oppressed by any form of slavery or be inadequately compensated for their work.

In the gospel Jesus spends a day dealing with those who are burdened by sickness or various demons. Jesus offers healing. God desires healing. Catholic Social Teaching reminds us that God wants good things for all the people. Personal, loving care for those in need is at the heart of our religious practice. Adequate health care is a human right for all God's people.

Catholic Social Teaching is a powerful message to share with our world as it faces so many problems. There is something exciting when it is shared with the world. It is a source of liberation. Jesus desires to move on to the other towns and keep sharing the message with everyone. In the second reading, Paul talks of his great desire to make any sacrifice to share the power of this good news. Our social teaching can be a source of liberation for all in need. It is to be shared free of charge to everyone.

Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
When in your life have you felt the need for healing or when did your community need healing? How did healing come about?

Actions - Links
February 5 is the Seventeenth National Day of Prayer for the African American Family and is sponsored by various national black Catholic Organizations. This year's theme for the National Day of Prayer for the African American Family 2006 is: "God's Ever Present Help Keeps Us Keeping On." Go to

February 11 [The Feast of Our Lady at Lourdes] is the World Day of the Sick. You can find the Message of Benedict XVI for the 14th World Day of the Sick at

You can find previous messages from John Paul II at: is "designed to help achieve the goals of the Justice for Immigrants Campaign. It provides tools and information for diocesan and community-based organizing, education, and advocacy efforts. You will find information about Catholic teachings that underpin this Campaign, as well as proposals from the Catholic Bishops to achieve reforms in our nation's immigration laws and policies that better reflect our values as a nation of immigrants."

Prayer - Meditation

Let us, then, pray with all fervor for this peace which our divine Redeemer came to bring us. May He banish from the souls of all whatever might endanger peace. May He transform all people into witnesses of truth, justice and love. May He illumine with His light the minds of rulers, so that, besides caring for the proper material welfare of their peoples, they may also guarantee them the fairest gift of peace.

Finally, may Christ inflame the desires of all people to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong. Through His power and inspiration may all peoples welcome each other to their hearts as sisters and brothers, and may the peace they long for ever flower and ever reign among them.
John XXIII, Pacem in Terris

Type of content: Lectionary Reflections