Monday, February 9, 2009

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

MARK 1: 29-39
February 8, 2009

Sometimes I think that we treat our relationship with God much like we treat an investment in the stock market. When I entered into the market with some money a few years ago, I enjoyed a modest profit and gave that away to charity. I still had my original investment in the market. I liked the stock market and said nice things about it to others. My broker and I were old friends. Then the recession came. I lost about half of my investment as of now. I hate the market and want nothing more to do with it. It did not come through for me as it used to.

When we enter into a relationship with God, it is because we expect to get something. It may begin with joining the church, first communion, confirmation, a church wedding. We are getting things we want in the God relationship. At times we have some difficulties and God seems to help us out. Then comes the recession. Economically, we suffer losses. But maybe we have other difficulties and God does not seem to fix things up for us. We have personal illness, death of a loved one. Where is God? For a while we ask for help, and then we just give up the relationship with God, because God did not come through as we wanted.

In the Gospel today, sick people are brought to Jesus. They come to get something from him. That is the relationship. He makes them physically and/or psychologically well. He drives out demons. But when Jesus is on the cross where are all these people? They don’t want any part of a suffering Jesus who is not in a position to help them. The healed want no part of the cross. But look at the mother-in-law of Peter. Jesus heals her. He goes to her. She did not ask him. She is sick. But when she is healed, she gives back. She serves without asking for anything of him. Her relationship is one of love, not utility.

Early the next morning Jesus goes off to be with Abba, The Father. Jesus loves Abba. Jesus just wants to spend quiet time in union with Abba. Jesus is not asking for anything. Our sacrament of healing and all of the seven sacraments are meant to help us to move to a love relationship with God in which God is the Bridegroom and we are the Bride. God is Unconditional Lover, not fix-it God. Our relationship is to grow into one that stays, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, until death, which in this case does not end the relationship, but goes into Eternal Life.

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