In Partnership with

St Agatha’s Parish

North William Street, Dublin D01N7F6

St Laurence O’Toole Parish

Seville Place, North Wall, Dublin D01KN73

4th February 2024. Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. JESUS HEALS THE DISEASE OF SIN

In today’s Gospel (Mk 1:29-39), we hear that (Simon) Peter was married under the Old Covenant. The Fathers of the Church, such as St. Clement of Alexandria, believed that Peter’s wife had died before Jesus came to call Him into the New Covenant. This is a new marriage with the new Church. Jesus wanted Peter’s undivided attention (1Cor 7:32-35). It is possible that Peter and his deceased wife had a chaste marriage similar to Joseph and Mary. Both couples lived in waiting for the Messiah, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Peter’s mother-in-law’s fever, symbolises the disease of sin, and how it spiritually tires and renders the soul spiritually sick, which affects the body. Jesus heals her and she immediately rises to serve Him. We must invite Jesus into the homes of our hearts, for the purpose of allowing Him to heal our suffering from diseases of one kind or another, enabling Him to return us back to full spiritual health. This is achieved in the sacrament of confession. Only then, can we serve Him worthily. All diseases must be attended to by a physician for the purpose of removing the sickness. Jesus is our divine Physician, whose supreme purpose is to take away the sins of the world through His Loving Divine Mercy.
Jesus wants to be recognised as the Crucified Christ, who died on the Cross, in order to bring us out from death and into a new life. He comes to save us from Satan. The demons would never announce that truth, because they were not His disciples. So, He would not allow them to speak. They knew Jesus because, He is the Word made Flesh, whose supreme authority (Mk 1:21-28) expelled them from heaven. Prayer and holiness is the umbilical cord that feeds the soul with divine grace from heaven. Food and drink keeps the human body alive. In the same way, we have to feed our spiritual body, the soul, with spiritual food and drink. The Sunday Eucharist (Mass) should be the source and summit of our spiritual nourishment. Our daily bread also includes feeding the soul with a devoted prayer life. Praying the Rosary is a wonderful way to do this. If we ignore to feed our souls, then we will spiritually collapse on the way to heaven and never make it. Like a lion, Satan observes the spiritually weak among the ‘flock’ and easily takes them down. A prayer life increases our faith and those of our brothers and sisters, who suffer from a spiritual famine. It is our duty to pray for the salvation of everybody, if we wish to avoid punishment beyond the grave (1Cor 9:16-19.22-23). Seeing the disciples looking for Jesus first thing in the morning should teach us to do the same. Remember that our life is but a breath (Job 7:1-4. 6-7). God Bless, Fr. Brendan.