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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Lectionary: 74
Read the Gospel: Mark 1:29-39

Gospel Summary
We learn several important pieces of information from this gospel passage. First, Simon Peter had a mother-in-law. When we read previously that he left his fishing boat to follow Jesus, we can safely assume that he left much more than that. He had a family at home and we hear in this gospel of Jesus healing Peter's mother-in-law. Also, this gospel helps us recognize the need Jesus had to be away from the crowds and confusion to take time to pray and become revitalized and strengthened for his ministry.

Reflection for Families
This gospel is especially helpful for parents. Many (maybe most) nights we fall into bed exhausted from a day of responsibilities. Perhaps it was our intention throughout the day to find time to pray, but sometimes we just don't get to it. At the end of the day, we resolve to talk with God, but wake in the morning to find out we fell asleep before we finished the prayer. Jesus gives us the example that we must take the time away from the busyness and demands of our lives to be fortified and strengthened to meet the most important responsibilities we haveÐthat is the spiritual formation of our children and our family.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
If you don't have a place in your home where you gather as a family to pray, this gospel may give you the incentive to establish one. Just a small table with a Bible on it will do. Allow all the members of your family to participate in its preparation by adding items that help everyone feel connected with the area. Try to establish a family ritual of prayer - perhaps before meals and at bedtime, when you gather in this area to pray together. This is a good opportunity to teach children traditional prayers, but it is also a place where they may speak from their hearts with petitions, praise, and thanksgiving.

Discussion Starters
1. It is important for me to be alone with God when...
2. The greatest source of strength in my life is...
3. My greatest need for prayer this week is...

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