Fr Thomas’ Reflection for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Once speaking with some primary school children in their class, one of them asked me, “what do you do?” I didn’t have to tell them that I am their priest; they already knew it. They just want to know about my life. I told them that I do Jesus’ job.

The Gospel of Mark gives some idea about the activities of Jesus at Capernaum, where he lived with Simon and Andrew at their house. He taught in the local synagogue, healed the sick who came to him, and he prayed to the Father in Heaven. We can draw a model of Christian mission from the activities of Jesus mentioned in the Gospel – teaching and learning the Word of God, healing the sick, and keeping up the prayer communication with God. The more you study the Word of God, the more you discern the Will of God. The more you indulge in prayer as a communication with God, the more you will experience God’s love, and you will have more confidence in God’s plan for you. You may not dispute these two aspects of faith life. But healing the sick! That you may think as beyond your scope and would rather leave to medical professionals and psychologists. But some of the most damaging sickness in human stories can be better helped by you than by medical professionals.

Loneliness is a debilitating sickness affecting many. Only Christlike companionship can provide an effective remedy for loneliness in life. In another kind of scenario, many mums and dads speak about their struggle to keep peace with children and spouses. There is no lack of love between them. But still there is something that is affecting the peace and the serenity. The love and the expression of it in such families are not sweet. Home chores have become just a responsibility you do, rather than something you look forward to. Parents boss over their children, but children are still out of control. It frustrates the children as much it does the parents. Because even from a very tender age onwards human beings have a right to be treated with dignity, and they are not getting it when the parents boss over them. Listening to the little ones, reasoning out with them on their demands, answering their unending chain of questions, and never telling them anything that is not true are key to showing children respect. They may embarrass you; but as a parent you are never to embarrass them before others. In short you as a parent need Christ like humility in your dealings with your children. No physician or psychologist can help you in this regard. Similarly, injustice can make sections of society feel their dignity stolen or eroding. Legislation might help provide financial compensations for the downtrodden. But people with Christlike hearts are needed to offer them the hope of dignity. You as a disciple of Christ can help where medicine, therapies, and legislations fail.

It is human nature to bask in the glory of any success. The disciples of Jesus were feeling proud of their master, Jesus, for the admiration the village people had for him. When the disciples of Jesus found him in a deserted place they told him, “Everyone is searching for you”. Hearing this, unlike other human beings, Jesus did not get inflated with an air of importance. Not losing the focus on his mission, he said, “Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” Let no popularity deviate the course of your life. Let nothing distract you from the mission of delivering good news to others.