First reading: Job 7:1-4, 6-7. Ps 146(147):1-6.
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 146(147):1-6.
Second reading: 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23.
Gospel: Mark 1:29-39.
Link to readings.
This Sunday we see all manner of people seeking out Jesus, both for his healing touch and for his message of Good News. He is constantly in demand, and constantly responds with love to those in need.
Job (First Reading) knows great suffering, and is bewildered by his situation; he grieves and frets. But even in his distress and confusion, he cries out to God in prayer, trusting that he is still there.
The Psalm has a message of great comfort. God loves us, healing the broken-hearted, binding up our wounds and raising the lowly.
St Paul (Second Reading) talks of the generosity and humility needed to share the Good News; indeed, he tries to be ‘all things to all people’. We, too, can better reach out to others by accepting our own weakness, and so stand more easily with those who are weak.
The Gospel shows us the depth and breadth of Jesus’s ministry, as he preaches throughout Galilee and heals all kinds of human suffering until late into the evening. He is constantly sought out by others, even when he rises very early to be alone in prayer with the Father. But he never loses sight of his mission to move onwards to the next place, spreading the Good News to all.
This week I might pray for renewed commitment – not only in my own search for Jesus – but also in helping others find him too, especially those who are hurting.
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23.
I come to my place of prayer, conscious of stepping into this holy space where the Lord longs to meet me. I take time to become still, gently breathing in God’s love for me.
In time, I turn to the text, reading slowly, several times. Perhaps I imagine Paul speaking these words directly to me.
I notice anything that especially strikes me. What is touching me here?
Paul talks of the ‘responsibility’ of preaching the Gospel. I ponder this.
How does God ask me to help proclaim the Good News … perhaps even just through the way I live, and through what I say?
It may be that just now I myself am struggling with ‘a duty ... laid on me’ not of my own choosing, or know of someone else in this position.
I bring this to the Lord, and ask him for any grace that is needed.
Paul makes himself weak to come alongside those who are weak.
I reflect for a moment on how Christ himself became weak for my sake.
Are there people around me whom I admire for their ‘weakness’?
In what ways might God need me to become weak, to help show Christ to others?
I speak of this to the Lord from my heart, and ask for his guidance and strength.
When I am ready, I take my leave with a slow sign of the cross.
Having come to some inner quiet, I read this passage slowly, reverently.
I may like to imagine myself alongside Jesus, walking with him as he moves from place to place, from one day into the next.
I watch Jesus as he speaks … touches … responds to others. What is stirring within me? How do I want to respond?
If I need to, I show him my own hurts and ask for his healing.
Jesus seems to have an almost magnetic pull for those in need. I ponder what it is about him that attracts people ... and in turn, what attracts me.
In what ways might the Lord be asking me to help reach out to those who are searching, even if that takes me to unexpected places?
Jesus makes time to be alone in prayer within a hugely busy ministry. Do I notice this same need for quiet in myself …?
How might the Lord be inviting me into a deeper relationship with him in prayer?
I speak to him about this … and listen for his voice.
I ask with confidence for any grace I need, and take time to bring to God those I know who are in need.
In time I slowly conclude my prayer, giving thanks: Glory be ...
Prepared by St Beuno’s Outreach in the Diocese of Wrexham