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Gospel reflection

February 7, 2021: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading: Mark 1: 29-39

On leaving the synagogue, Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them. When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him. Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.


In my younger days, I was a tad disappointed in Simon. He allowed his mother-in-law to get up from a sickbed to serve. Really!

Then, I would remember Simon had asked Jesus to visit. He dearly wished his mother-in-law to be healed. That revealed the kindness and love within his heart.

I would imagine what his mother-in-law might have wished feeling well and surrounded by caring visitors. Part of the mystery of agape love is that love is received and given in the same moment. Simon’s mother-in-law shared God’s love with all who were there.

In essence, Simon’s mother-in-law is an example to us that when healed (whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual healing) we are then called to serve the world with the new person we have become.

Two people were healed in this story. Simon was healed from the worry of a heavy heart. Simon’s vision of service extended to all members of his community. Jesus gently reminded Simon the call was to serve all villages.

All of us need God’s blessing of healing. After receiving that gift, some will be peacemakers called to live within their community and some will be called to walk with Jesus in bringing healing to the whole world.


This week, let each of us choose to be a conduit of God’s love to a neighbor. We can do this by listening, thereby walking briefly with him or her. Ask that person to pass it on. Together we can share God’s love thereby bringing healing to our world.

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Helen Flavin

Helen Flavin

Helen Flavin is a Providence Associate. She is a Catholic scientist, educator and writer. Helen received her Ph.D. in Neurochemistry from Boston College. She is a fulltime science teacher. She is a guest columnist for her Diocese’s Catholic Newspaper “The Anchor.” She enjoys volunteering at the local nursing home.

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  1. Avatar Sharon Legner on February 4, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Spot on!!

  2. Avatar Terri Grasso, SP on February 5, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    Love your action suggestion! Thanks for sharing.

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