Reflection for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time…February 7, 2021

by Mary Toline, Notre Dame Associate

On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.  Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.  They immediately told him about her.  He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.  Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.  The whole town was gathered at the door.  He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak, because they know him.

Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place where he prayed.  Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”  He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also.  For this purpose have I come.”  So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.

Simon’s mother- in- law was healed and returned as her role as a woman in the society of the time, by waiting on and serving the Lord. The fact that the first person to be healed in the story is a woman is significant, it shows that in the very beginning Jesus sided with the least of society.  This message of this healing and other cures show that Jesus wanted them back in society. “Jesus loved everyone.”

After Jesus drove out many demons, and did not permit them to speak, Jesus did not want them to have power over him. He avoided them to not allow temptation. If Jesus was nervous about this it only shows us that we should be more concerned about temptations and it is happening all the time throughout our days.  Sometimes we think that the devil really is not involved in our thinking or in our actions, or is he?   We need to pray all the time to not let the demons take over our minds and hearts. We need to start now today to pray for others and ourselves to not allow the devil to overcome us.

In this last year, one could think that the devil has been involved in this virus, the elections, the riots, and just the hate in our fellowman? We need to pray more now than ever before, so our world can come back to normal or should we say our new normal.

Jesus loved everyone!