HOMILY/REFLECTION FOR THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: HE HEALS THE BROKEN HEARTED
BY: Fr. Christian Eze
First reading – Job 7:1-4.6-7
Second reading – 1 Cor. 9:16-19.22-23
Gospel – Mk. 1:29-39
Of all known stories of a man who suffered heart-break, the story of Job in the Bible is very outstanding. In the first reading of today, Job describes his day-and-night as a joyless existence: “Lying in bed I wonder ‘when will it be day’. Rising I think, ‘How slowly evening comes” (Job 7:4). But one wonderful truth of life is the fact that every mortal man has got a share in human brokenness. From cradle to grave, our life is full of pains. The human infant announces its arrival with a cry; and this may signify “arrival into a world of pains and tears”.
Thus from birth, we begin to encounter woes in face of which we most times see ourselves very helpless. Yes, commenting on this, the Psalmist wrote: “our span is seventy years, or eighty for those who are strong; and MOST OF THESE ARE EMPTYNESS AND PAIN” (Ps 90:10). Life is spent in search of meanings. The pains of failures, the reality of human inadequacy, and the consequent loss of hope would make the realization of a fulfilled life appear very elusive. Hence, many opine that man is born crying, he lives complaining, and he dies disappointed. Where then does the hope of existence lie?
As it is, there is absolutely NOTHING in this world which could give meaning to, or answer the question of human experience. St Paul was on the right to say that if our hope were to be in anything of this life, then, we could have been more to be pitied of all- 1 Cor. 15:19. Our only hope, therefore, is in the God-made-man, Jesus Christ. Thanks to God! Jesus came to heal the broken hearted. Announcing His “manifesto” in Lk 4:18, He vividly declared: “The Spirit of God has been given to me… to proclaim liberty to the captives to restore sight to the blind, to set the down-trodden free…” The gospel of today tells much of how he was keen healing many of their broken hearts. Human brokenness is not strange to Him. The letter to the Hebrews tells us that “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.”- Heb 4:15. He was made man in order to feel what we are feeling, and show us that the end is not here .He was touched by human pains and went about alleviating it.
As a follower of Jesus, I have been called to be a herald of the Good News of Divine consolation. While the entire humanity is groping in the dark amidst great pains and difficulties in search of meaning, a good question I ask myself is: am I seriously adding to the burdens of my neighbors? It would be too bad a thing for me to go about breaking more hearts. He who causes a fellow human being further pains is more or less working against Christ who is our example. He went about doing good, healing the sick, giving hope to the hopeless. St Paul in today's second reading proclaims his compelling duty to proclaim this message that heals the broken hearts. One thing is that heart break is randomly distributed. I may think I am comfortable today and ignore someone in hard times. Who knows when it would be my turn? Woe to me too if I fail to carry the good news of liberation.