February 4 – Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I’m pretty good at throwing parties, in particular, pity parties.  When I was 25 years old, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  As I look back, I know that the Lord uses all things for His glory because my diagnosis led to my priestly discernment.  But, for selfish reasons, it added to my pity party; I was now a proud owner of “the cancer card”! I remember one time when my sister and I were discussing with my mom where we should all go to dinner.  My sister and I had different ideas of which restaurant to go to, but ultimately, I won in the end. Why? Because I had cancer! 

I bring this up because in our first reading, Job is throwing his own pity party.  “Job spoke, saying: ‘Is not man’s life on earth is a drudgery?’” (Job 7:1) Now, I don’t think it’s just Job or myself that tend to feel this way sometimes. Why? Well, when we are going through our crosses and trials, or when we are hurting, we typically feel isolated and alone. We may feel like no one can grasp or comprehend what we are actually going through. 

However, what our faith makes clear is that we are never alone, and the Lord knows exactly what we are going through.  In our Gospel reading today, the Lord seeks out Peter’s Mother-in-Law who is sick.  Not only does the Lord seek us out, but we are also able to approach him and call out in our need.  Later in Job’s story, he will cry out to the Lord and the Lord will hear his cry. In the Gospel, many people come to Lord seeking healing as the sun sets. 

May I invite us, especially with the crosses we bear, to seek out the Lord in prayer instead of throwing a pity party and feeling isolated.  Next Sunday, February 11th, after the Noon Mass Bishop Ronald Hicks will dedicate our new Adoration Chapel.  My hope is that this sacred space may become a place where many can come and bring their crosses before the Lord, knowing that they are never alone, and that the Lord is with them!

Father Michael