Job 7:1-4,6-7; Psalm 146(147):1-6; 1 Corinthians 9:16-19,22-23; Mark 1:29-39.
Prayer is an important element in the life of the faithful person. The first reading from the book of Job presents us with Job who, in his misery, shares his pain with God. As the story of Job progresses, God responds to Job’s faith filled prayer.
In the gospel narrative Mark speaks of Jesus who also prays. Jesus goes to the synagogue, a place of prayer, and then goes off to a lonely place to pray. For Jesus too prayer was an important part of his ministry. Even though he was the Son of God, God himself, he still felt the need to find time to stop and get in touch with his heavenly Father. The gospels show us Jesus at prayer before making important decisions and at important turning points in his ministry.
Today’s gospel can be divided into two scenes:
In the first scene he leaves the synagogue to go to Peter’s house to heal his mother-in-law.
In the second scene he goes to a lonely place to pray and then goes out to meet the people.
Mark presents Jesus as the master of contemplation in action.
When one studies the life and readings of the Servant of God Joseph De Piro, one may wonder whether he too was a man of prayer and action. One can have no doubt regarding De Piro being a person of action; at one point in his life he was responsible or participating in as many as 54 different activities and ministries which he executed faithfully.
Moreover, as one reads through the various accounts from his contemporaries, one notices various instances where reference has been made to De Piro’s life of prayer. The Servant of God was energised primarily through his relationship with God. He too was a contemplative in action.