Reflections: 4th February 2018

A Reflection for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

MK 1: 29-39 ( )

What a contrast between Job and Jesus!

Job is totally overwhelmed with the hopelessness of his situation and the demoralizing drudgery of daily life; he feels like a “workman with no thought but his wages”. There are people whose work is simply a drudgery to them, their employment does not offer them life-enhancing experience or any sense of personal fulfillment or satisfaction; they do their duty and simply await their pay cheque. Others, however, experience a ‘vocational’ sense to their work and cannot imagine life without getting up and looking forward to the contribution that they can make through their work and service.

Jesus had a full day’s work such as healing people that went right on into the evening, He was in great demand for the great work that he was doing – “everybody is looking for you”. He must have felt a real sense of accomplishment. After all he was doing the will of the father.

Sometimes people are so invested in their work and their sense of identity so bound up with what they do that they find retirement difficult and don’t know what do with themselves when they are no longer working. As we get older, whether we are semi-retired or retired, very few come looking for us and one can feel isolated and perhaps abandoned. It is time to re-think who one is and what one can do now, what one’s new contribution can be.

Jesus realizes that he needs a change of ‘scenery’, to expand his horizon, to go beyond what he was doing, and after prayerful discernment proposes this to his disciples. As a couple, we continue to discern what we can do, how we can contribute in the new environment and situation we now find ourselves and remain open to any suggestions!

Richard Foran –  Richard spent some 20 years as a member of the Spiritans, Holder of Master’s degrees in Theology & Cross-Cultural Ministry and in Social Work, he worked in Africa, including for over a decade in Angola, Jamaica and the USA. He and his wife Sharon now live in Ireland.