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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Looby

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (2024)

This week's forecast calls for a mix of sun, clouds and a bit of Job!

As I look around, I see that winter has been challenging for all of us! The snow, the cold, and especially, the lack of sunshine have been the talk of the town. In fact, listening to everyone, I was reminded of today's first reading.

In the Book of Job, we hear Job's lament. "My days... come to an end without hope. I shall not see happiness again." 

If I didn't know any better, I'd say Job sounds a lot like us lately, complaining about the weather and the lack of sun!

But there's hope, as we find in today’s Gospel from Mark. We see Jesus, after a long day of healing and teaching, seeking solitude to pray. Despite the demands of the world, He finds time for prayer. It's as if Jesus is showing us how to deal with our own 'winter blahs'. 

You see, prayer is not just words we say or rituals we perform. Prayer is where we find our solace, our strength. It's where we connect with God, with the 'SON', if you will. 

And just like the sun that we miss so much these days, the Son of God brings light and warmth to our souls.

Now, I know finding time for prayer can be challenging. Our lives are busy, sometimes as harsh as this winter weather. But just as Jesus found a moment for solitude, we, too, can find small moments in our day to connect with God. 

It could be a few minutes of silent reflection in the morning, a short prayer before a meal, or just a moment of gratitude before bed.

And there’s another lesson in the Gospel. After His time in prayer, Jesus doesn't keep the grace to Himself. He goes back out, healing and helping more people. 

In the same way, we are called to share the light we receive in prayer. Maybe it’s a phone call to someone who is alone, a visit to a sick neighbor, or simply being kinder and more patient in our daily interactions.

In essence, the cure for our winter blues lies in exposing ourselves to the 'SON', both in prayer and in action. It’s in these moments of connection with God and service to others that we find the warmth and light we crave during these cold, sunless days.

Now, of course, Job wasn't really complaining about the weather. His lament was much deeper. He was in a place of profound suffering and loss, feeling abandoned and without hope. 

Job’s words reflect the depth of human despair that we all might feel at some point in our lives.

Yet, in the Gospel, we see a response to this kind of despair. Jesus, in his actions, shows us the way out of our deepest valleys. He heals, He comforts, and He brings hope. 

In His retreat to prayer, He demonstrates the importance of turning to God in our moments of suffering. And in His return to the people, He shows us that our own healing often comes through serving others.

Just as Jesus was a source of hope and renewal for those he encountered, He offers the same to us today. In our moments of suffering, when we feel like Job, we are invited to turn to prayer, to connect with Jesus, the source of all comfort and hope. 

And then, strengthened by this connection, we are called to reach out, to be agents of comfort and hope to others.

As we step into the coming week, let's not only keep an eye on the skies but also on the warmth and light we can bring into each other's lives, regardless of the weather. 

Look for opportunities to spread warmth and kindness. It could be a simple act of checking in on a neighbor, sharing a smile with a stranger, or offering a helping hand where it's needed. 

Let these actions be our forecast of hope and love, reflecting the light of Christ in our daily lives.

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