God weeps at love withheld, at strength misused, at children’s innocence abused. And ’til we change the way we love, God weeps.

God bleeds at anger’s fist, at trust betrayed, att women battered and afraid. And ’til we change the way we win, God bleeds.

God cries at hungry mouths, at running sores, at creatures dying without cause. And ’til we change the way we are, God cries.

God waits for stones to melt, for peace to seed, For hearts to hold each other’s need. And ’til we understand the Christ,  God waits.

Call to worship

In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in law. Jesus reaches out to touch each of us. Even during this time of pandemic we know that God weeps with us, encourages our healing and strengthens our commitment to service.

  • To the point: Jesus’ healing of Peter’s mother-in-law was very personal: he approached her, grasped her hand and helped her up. Further, in reaching out to “the whole of Galilee,” Jesus responds to the universal human condition of misery and hopelessness — always in a very personal way. Jesus’ ministry is truly about all humanity’s experiencing the transformation of human hopelessness through personal encounter with Him.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Mark 1:29-39) to the first reading: Job describes the misery of the human condition when he laments that his life is filled with “drudgery — he feels trapped (“a slave” without hope.”) This also describes the condition of the people who came to Jesus for healing. Jesus overturns the human condition, bringing hope and healing-then and now.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience. A sick child instinctively seeks the touch of a loving parent; he or she wants the parent to sit by the bed, to be near. Even as adults, when we are ill or down-and-out, we seek comfort from a trusted and caring other who grasps our hand. As the gospel illustrates, in times of trouble we need the personal touch and presence of another.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Mark 1: 29-39)

“He approached her, grasped her hand, and helped her up.”

Lord, whole towns flocked to you,
with demons and sickness, to be healed.
In our day we, as well, come to find you.
O Lord: heal us too.
We are plagued with unrest,
our climate is in crisis, jobs are gone,
and of course, the virus is upon the world.
Take our hand. Help us up.
Let us take your good news to all
of our sisters and brothers everywhere.

The First Reading

(Job 7: 1-4, 6-7)

My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle.
Months of misery, endless nights endless days;
Restless hearts. Oh yes, our world suffers.
Jesus, Jesus, we welcome you.

The Second Reading

(I Corinthians 9: 16-19, 22-23)

I have become all things to all, to save at least some.

Could we use our weakness to speak to the weak,
to be all things to all persons?
Let your grace flow freely through us, into others.

Copyright © 2021, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection