Job 7:1-4, 6-7; Ps 147:1-6; 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23; Mark 1:29-39
The most important thing in our Christian/Catholic faith is a response to God’s revelation to us in his scriptures, coming to know Jesus personally. We get a good glimpse of who Jesus is and what he is about in this first chapter of St. Mark’s gospel. It is so simple and beautiful. Jesus called his first followers.
Last week we saw Jesus preaching in the Capernaum synagogue and driving demons out of a man. The people were astounded. In this week’s section, Jesus left the synagogue and went almost across the street to Peter and Andrew’s house. There are 10 verses, 29-39, with 13 sentences and 4 separate stories. They are as dynamic as they are amazing. Let’s be an eyewitness news team and go to Peter’s house. Ladies and gentleman, Jesus has gone into the house. What will he do there? Peter’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever. Jesus goes in, takes her hand and raises her up healed. Then amazingly she gets them something to eat.
After sundown when the Jews were able to move around, the villagers are bringing all the sick and those possessed to Peter’s house. What will Jesus do now with this crowd? He healed many and drove out the demons. People are astonished and in shock. This man is truly amazing and the excitement is growing to fever pitch. It is late now and Jesus sends them home to sleep. And Jesus goes in to rest himself. So let’s find a house to sleep in ourselves.
Frantically looking for Jesus
As the villagers awaken they go back to Peter’s house looking for Jesus, but he and his disciples are not there. Where are they? This is just in verse 35. We are told that Jesus awoke very early and went off alone to pray to his Father. They frantically went to look for Jesus and found him. They told him that everyone was looking for him.
Jesus told his followers the purpose for which he had come. He told them he was to move on to the other towns and villages. His Father had sent him to preach in their synagogues and heal the people. So off they went. Jesus will meet a leper along the way that he will heal as well.
So do you have a great sense of what Jesus is about in these short stories? Do you too want to run to Jesus? Folks, I want to take my camera crew and be off with Jesus. I want to see more of what he will do. I don’t want to miss anything. If your mind is wired like mine, you can place yourself in these gospels stories watching what Jesus was doing then.
Back to the present
Then come back to our present time. Jesus is living hidden in us from our baptism. The Holy Spirit is touching our minds and hearts guiding us to a deeper encounter with Jesus. How is Jesus teaching and empowering you to go out and be his heart and hands touching those around you? That is the real question. Can we take Jesus’ example and spend a little time in prayer each morning asking for the graces we need to bless people during our day out in the world? There is a world waiting for Jesus even if they don’t know it. We can be the voice of Jesus speaking encouraging words of comfort and help. Mother Mary, teach us how to pray and listen to the Holy Spirit as you did so we can bring his love to a hungry people.
You may want to take more time or even part of Lent just mulling over this first chapter of Mark as the Holy Spirit guides you. There is so much there to think about. Have a blessed week touching Jesus and others. + Fr. Bob Hilz.