5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Job 7:1-7; 1Cor.9:16-23; Mk.1:29-39
“The Earth’s darkest hours are dead ahead. The end is nigh”, the many prophets say. The population will be subjected to wide and intense bombardments of deception, fake news, false teachings and relative truths. The attack is directed at the mind. It is mind control business. We are live in a world of influences and the influenced. The best and very expensive FIREWALL soft wares are being installed by corporations, the military and governments to ward off the cyber terrorists.
But there are also deadly spiritual worms, demonic viruses, curses and spells, out to create havoc in and with our minds. Is there a firewall for these malicious forces?
What protection do we have for our undermined belief system? Some would say ‘put on the helmet of salvation’. Paul said ‘renew the spirit of the mind’. Jesus said ‘know the truth and the truth will set you free’.
For Job, the Corinthians and even Jesus, TRUTH, knowing the ways and mind of God, was their “firewall”. Knowing their real worth was their defence shield.
- Job was experiencing an onslaught of untruths, misconceptions and presumed truths about his ‘real worth’. His friends saw the misery that he was going through as punishment for his sins. Job felt that life itself was a misery. But as he persevered with his suffering, eventually he met God, the Compassionate. Then he discovered the mystery of suffering and “why good people suffer”. For Job, his real worth was in the way God saw him. (Man usually perceive suffering as punishment).
- The Corinthians in Paul’s time, were encountering profiteering false teachers, who preached a new christ, an uncrucified Christ. Many were being swayed by this prosperity version.They were tempted by money and money-making. It was here that Paul confronted the community on where one’s real worth was. That the real worth was in being, in proclaiming the Good-news (freely given and not for sale) and be uncompromising regards the Crucified Christ. A Christian’s real worth is in being free for Christ, detached from profiteering, compromise and having other ‘gods’.
- Jesus had a lot to do. Many came to him. Some he entertained; and some he avoided. For Jesus, serving His Father and doing His Will was everything. That was where His real worth was. It was not how He performed nor what he did nor how busy He was. When the disciples told Him about the fever, He responded. When the people brought the sick and the possessed, He responded. But when He was told that ‘everyone was looking for Him’, He moved away. Jesus served God and did not serve Himself.
Do you have a firewall to keep out the viruses, the hacking, the worms and the distractions? The Lord, our God has provided us three.
- God-given IDENTITY: God-given or self-made? The way God sees us or the way we people to see us? the “who we are for God”or the persons we are for others?
- God’s PRIORITY in Life: God or money? God’s will or public opinion? Free for God or loaded with baggages?
- God’s APPROVAL: GOD-given or people’s’ or personal ambition
When church leaders, clergy and the people of God realise where their real worth is and rely on the firewalls against intrusive forces, they reflect JOY in all that they do; and they are unshakeable.
Know your God-given Firewalls.