WITH ST. MARY'S
THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Through highs and lows we find God.
FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Everyone is looking for God. As is usual throughout the Gospels, Simon Peter accidentally says the exact right thing at the exact right time when he approaches Christ and tells him, “everyone is looking for you.” We often speculate why Peter was chosen to be the leader of the Apostles, but this scene is a good indication as to why: he always said the right thing when it mattered (even when it was accidental) and he represented the human experience so well. He was prone to mistakes, had a short temper, and was often reactionary rather than prudent. But he did something when he was first called that all Christians are called to do - he humbled himself before the Lord. After the miraculous catch of fish, he fell to his knees and said to Christ, “depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” But his desire to seek after God and to please Him is what we all ultimately desire - we are looking for God, and He is in our midst.
READ THIS SUNDAY'S MESSAGE
Simon Peter is actually a rather secondary character in this Sunday’s Gospel. The focus is on the wonder that surrounded Jesus Christ as a public figure, especially all of his miraculous healings. But Peter was personally touched by the grace and mercy of Christ; not only was he personally called to conversion on the shore after that first miracle, but in this Sunday’s Gospel, Christ goes out of his way to heal someone dear to Peter - his mother-in-law. This was the first of many healings he performed that day; Peter was one of the first to be called to a new life in Christ, but Christ did not finish this calling with the Apostles. Christ continues to call, continues to heal, and continues to move hearts toward him. Even after an entire day of healing, Christ rises early the next morning to pray, is called by the others, then moves on to the other villages to continue the calling and the healing. As we know the story of the Gospel, Christ was often misunderstood when it came to this “purpose” for which he came; however, the fact that so many were brought out by his presence on earth speaks to how desperate we are as human beings to seek God and to know God. Even for those who are not religious, any genuine time spent with someone who is religious should indicate the importance of a life centered on serving God. We all must admit that we are imperfect creatures, likely a result of some sort of fallen aspect of our own nature. Imperfection leads to sin, and sin leads to suffering. Eventually, all we want is to seek out the love, mercy, and peace that can only be found in perfection, and perfection can only be found in the Creator.
This Sunday’s first reading is a heart-wrenching monologue from the character Job; hearing his words ought to strike at the heart of every human being because we have all gone through the same emotional and spiritual lows that he experiences in this reading. In this moment, Job represents the same desperation that drew all those crowds toward Christ during his public ministry. It is the same desperation that draws people toward authentic religious expression, belief in God, and love of Christ. When that need for God is replaced with anything other than Him, the suffering sentiment of Job is only exacerbated. Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians that he has an obligation to share God in the same way he received knowledge of Him - through the Gospel. Everyone is looking for God. People in your life are looking for God. You, then, also have an obligation to share God with them because you have found Him. He is present within the message of the Gospel and the Church that has arisen from His Word.