“Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.”
Job 7:1-4, 6-7
First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Gospel according to Mark 1:29-39
by Sister Dorothy Jean Beyer, OSB
Wow, in the first reading, Job is really down in the dumps, pessimistic about life, and sees his future with no happiness. I am very glad we can go on to the responsorial psalm, the second reading and the gospel for today’s meditation and prayer – and some hope. Nevertheless, we all sometimes feel like Job.
The responsorial psalm lifts my spirit with the refrain, “Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.” In my 70+ years, my heart has been broken numerous times. I think you can say this as well. Our hearts have been disappointed by others’ failures, by my failures, by illness, by loved ones dying, by our sins, by betrayal and promises not kept. The list can go on. The sure thing in all this brokenness is that Jesus is with us, every step of the way. He knows what brokenness means to the human heart and body. He experienced it. He heals our hearts – and our bodies as well. We find this so well illustrated in today’s gospel. “He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons,…”
Jesus went off to a quiet, deserted place to pray. But Peter and others pursued Jesus! “Everyone is looking for you.” People needed Jesus and Jesus responded to His mission with purpose and untiring generosity. In the second reading, St. Paul imitates Jesus in this unconditional love for God’s people. Can we too respond with whole-hearted, big-hearted caring for others for the sake of the gospel? Can we share what we have freely, graciously, and lovingly with the brokenhearted? Your care makes a difference in our world. Your tenderness to another will lift his/her heavy heart. And your heart will brim with joy for the ministry you do for Jesus.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other [Rom.12:10], supporting with the greatest patience one another’s weaknesses of body or behavior,...” Rule of Benedict 72:4-5
“Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Matthew 8:17