February 5, 2012 Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
FIRST READING: Isaiah 40:21-31
21Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
Isn’t it clear that God created the world?
22God is the one who rules the whole earth,
and we that live here are merely insects.
He spread out the heavens
like a curtain or an open tent.
23God brings down rulers and turns them into nothing.
24They are like flowers freshly sprung up
and starting to grow.
But when God blows on them, they wilt
and are carried off like straw in a storm.
25The holy God asks, “Who compares with me?
Is anyone my equal?”
26Look at the evening sky! Who created the stars?
Who gave them each a name?
Who leads them like an army?
The LORD is so powerful that none of the stars
are ever missing.
27You people of Israel, say, “God pays no attention to us!
He doesn’t care if we are treated unjustly.”
But how can you say that?
28Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
The LORD is the eternal God, Creator of the earth.
He never gets weary or tired;
his wisdom cannot be measured.
29The LORD gives strength to those who are weary.
30Even young people get tired, then stumble and fall.
31But those who trust the LORD will find new strength.
They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings;
they will walk and run without getting tired.
PSALMODY: Psalm 147:1-11, 20c
1Shout praises to the LORD! Our God is kind,
and it is right and good to sing praises to him.
2The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem
and brings the people of Israel back home again.
3He renews our hopes and heals our bodies.
4He decided how many stars there would be in the sky
and gave each one a name.
5Our LORD is great and powerful!
He understands everything.
6The LORD helps the poor,
but he smears the wicked in the dirt.
7Celebrate and sing!
Play your harps for the LORD our God.
8He fills the sky with clouds and sends rain to the earth,
so that the hills will be green with grass.
9He provides food for cattle
and for the young ravens, when they cry out.
10The LORD doesn’t care about the strength of horses
or powerful armies.
11The LORD is pleased only with those who worship him
and trust his love.
Shout praises to the LORD!
SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23
16I don’t have any reason to brag about preaching the good news. Preaching is something God told me to do, and if I don’t do it, I am doomed. 17If I preach because I want to, I will be paid. But even if I don’t want to, it is still something God has sent me to do. 18What pay am I given? It is the chance to preach the good news free of charge and not to use the privileges that are mine because I am a preacher.
19I am not anyone’s slave. But I have become a slave to everyone, so that I can win as many people as possible. 20When I am with the Jews, I live like a Jew to win Jews. They are ruled by the Law of Moses, and I am not. But I live by the Law to win them. 21And when I am with people who are not ruled by the Law, I forget about the Law to win them. Of course, I never really forget about the law of God. In fact, I am ruled by the law of Christ. 22When I am with people whose faith is weak, I live as they do to win them. I do everything I can to win everyone I possibly can. 23I do all this for the good news, because I want to share in its blessings.
GOSPEL: Mark 1:29-39
29As soon as Jesus left the meeting place with James and John, they went home with Simon and Andrew. 30When they got there, Jesus was told that Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with fever. 31Jesus went to her. He took hold of her hand and helped her up. The fever left her, and she served them a meal.
32That evening after sunset, all who were sick or had demons in them were brought to Jesus. 33In fact, the whole town gathered around the door of the house. 34Jesus healed all kinds of terrible diseases and forced out a lot of demons. But the demons knew who he was, and he did not let them speak.
35Very early the next morning, Jesus got up and went to a place where he could be alone and pray. 36Simon and the others started looking for him. 37And when they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you!”
38Jesus replied, “We must go to the nearby towns, so that I can tell the good news to those people. This is why I have come.” 39Then Jesus went to Jewish meeting places everywhere in Galilee, where he preached and forced out demons.