Homily – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

So I have a favorite four letter F word. No, I don’t know where your minds went, but my favorite word is free. Any time I hear the words free, like it’s really a good thing. I like free. However, if a friend calls and says it’s been a long time, let’s go out to lunch. My treat. Sometimes I think, this is too good to be true.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. He wants something. I get a little skeptical. Yet a little concerned. I’m not quite sure there’s something going on here. I get a little world weary. Isn’t that the same thing that happened to Job? After all, in today’s first reading. We hear words like drudgery, heat, slave’s misery, restlessness. I can’t sleep.

It’s really upbeat, that first reading, isn’t it? But isn’t it just that Jobe has forgotten the free gift of God’s love? How often? When we have something freely offered to us, like friendship or love or salvation in Christ. Do we get skeptical? Are there any skeptics in the room other than myself? Come on, tell me the truth. Thank you.

There are free few honest people in the room. That world weariness that comes with that sense of nothing can be free, can really get in the way of our proclaiming God’s kingdom, which was freely given to us. Now we hear the exact opposite in the second reading. If Jobe is world weary, if Jobe is skeptical, then Paul realizes that salvation in Christ has been freely given to us.

And what is our response? Faithfulness. Faithfulness to the gospel that we have been given notice. Paul uses a different kind of vocabulary. He talks about boasting, about proclamation, about giving the gospel free of charge. That’s the exact opposite of what we heard in Joe and Paul says. We do it because in baptism it’s been freely given to us.

Isn’t that amazing? If Jobe is world weary, Paul is filled with faithfulness. So today, which one would we rather be? Joe or Paul? Would we rather be skeptical or filled with the glory of the proclamation of Christ, Jesus and the Kingdom? Isn’t it interesting that both Jobe and Paul are offered to us today? But yet there is a third offering to us today.

Notice when Jesus comes into the house and hears about Peter’s mother in law, does he say the doctor is in the house? The cost of the house to the house call is $150 and I don’t take insurance. No, Jesus walks over freely. Kate Simon Peters, mother in law by the hand and raises her up. No charge free. If we’re a job, we’re going to be skeptical about this healing power.

If we’re Paul, we’re going to proclaim it to everyone. And if we’re Peter’s mother in law, we’re going to be grateful. There they are. Three words for our readings today. Skeptical, faithful, grateful today. What is it that is making us a little skeptical about our faith today? What is it that is filling us with the desire to proclaim to the world what God has done for us in his tender mercy?

And today, for what are we grateful for? Because in a moment we’re going to be healed, just like Peter’s mother in law, just like all of those who came to this side of the Christ, the Eucharist, our great sacrament of healing is an invitation to be nourished on the body and blood of Christ so that we can overcome the weariness of the world.

We can be filled with the desire to proclaim the kingdom in the grace of gratitude. Here we are. How is all of this coming together for us this morning? Because while we’re here, we’re getting ready to go back out into the world. How does the Lord end today’s gospel? We have to keep going. There are other towns and villages we need to visit.

We must go there to their synagogues, preaching and driving out the demons. That’s our call to be filled with grace in the Eucharist, filled with the faith to proclaim even to a skeptical world that we are saved in Christ Jesus. Are we ready this morning to choose to be Paul and Peter’s mother in law to put away our desire to be light show and proclaim the Gospel?

Well, as in all things. It’s our choice. We can choose. We can say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, or as you’re going to hear in a few minutes, are free. Mardi Gras party. Are we going to be like Paul and say no In baptism? I was filled with faith and in the Eucharist. I’m going to keep going.

Will we be like Simon Peter’s mother in law healed and grateful? Well, as we go to the Eucharist, let us pray for all of this, filled that and pray that we will be filled with the spirit of Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.