February 7, 2021 – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/020721.cfm)
A group of barangay leaders once went to attend a week-long seminar on leadership and public service. Since they have heard a lot about the speaker of their seminar, they looked forward meeting him hoping that they could learn some new wisdom about leadership and service. As they arrived at the venue, they happen to see a simple man around, and ordered him to bring their luggage to their respective rooms. The man obligingly obeyed their order. And off they went visiting other sites since they still have more time to spend before the seminar. As the seminar begins, much to their dismay, they were all ashamed of themselves because the man whom they asked to bring their luggage to their rooms is the very guest speaker himself.
We hear from our gospel today Jesus responding to the immediate needs of the people. As he arrived in Peter’s house, Jesus healed the fever of Peter’s mother-in-law, and until nighttime he cured all the sick people of the community. Yes, Jesus is indeed a compassionate healer, who reaches out and responds to the needs of the people. But we must also know that in responding to people’s need, Jesus also have to stop and leave them, so that he can continue his mission. Though he is a frontline healer, for Jesus, His main mission is to preach and spread the Good News and to build God’s Kingdom, rather than just responding to the immediate needs of the people.
Like the people of his time, sometimes we only recognize Jesus as he heals and responds to our immediate need. So that we may be happy, we only want Jesus to satisfy our urgent needs. We want Jesus to create miracles or magics, to ease our pain and free us from our life’s loads and burdens. Like those baranggay leaders, at times we may have considered Jesus only as our “Kargador” baggage-carrier to lighten our loads, serve our needs and ease our pains. Sometime in life, we see Jesus as a mere gasoline station – we recognize Him only whenever we need Him, when we run out of gas. Sometimes, we need Jesus to be just our caregiver who should readily respond to our immediate needs – without caring about the message He preached, story to tell, role to play in our lives as well as His life and mission to partake & live with us.
Well, surely Jesus will respond hands-on and on-hand to our needs and hope, for He do know what we need & what we are going through in life. But Jesus can offer us more than just carrying our burden. He is the guest speaker who offers us more than just lightening our loads, cure our sicknesses, free us from our problems or filling-up our gasoline tank. Jesus comes to us to renew our lives and offer us God’s kingdom. His mission is to preach the Good News of Salvation. He came not only to respond to our immediate petty needs but to heal and recreate our land and the world now. He comes so that we may have life – life to its fullness, and not just life to our satisfaction.
Be reminded then of what Jesus say to us in our gospel today, “Let us move on to the neighboring villages so that I may proclaim the good there also. That is what I have come to do.”
In this Eucharist, we pray that our faith in Jesus moves us not to limit & abuse God’s graces for us, but rather move us to be more open & trusting to God’s plans & will for us now during these pandemic times, and thus participate fully in the Mission of Jesus of sharing God’s offer of Life & Salvation to all in our world now & always. Amen.