The lectionary passages for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Isaiah 40:21-31
Psalm 147:1-11, 20c
Second Reading: I Corinthians 9:16-23
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:29-39

The liturgical color for the day is: Green

In the Gospel Lesson notice the action in the passage.  He came…took her by the hand…lifted her up…  Such may be a practical description of what we are called to do in the world in our discipleship.  We are to go to others, take them by the hand, and lift them up. 

We also may see this passage from the perspective that, in Christ, this is precisely what God has done for us—come to us, taken us by the hand, and lifted us up.  With Simon’s mother-in-law what better response could there be than to begin to serve—“and she began to serve them.”

It is that last action, “lifted up,” that is particularly great in this world. Many are struggling now, and their capacity to face that may even be impaired. When we reach out, make contact, initiate a conversation, or even send a text message that translates into being “taken by the hand and lifted up.”

The reading from Isaiah is a wonderful passage that accounts the splendor of the God.  Written to the people in exile, the passage portrays a grand God of hope to a people in a despairing situation.  The conclusion of the passage soars with eagle’s hope and are words many will treasure in difficulty.  No matter what circumstances we face (and these days there are plenty), a regular reminder and acclamation that our hope is in God, and not in ourselves or our circumstances, is a worthy claim on the trustworthiness of the One who “gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.”

Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk

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