On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.
When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.
Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you!” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.
The Gospel according to Mark 1:29-19
When I was growing up, my whole family went to church every Sunday. The nine kids took up a whole pew! On the way home, we often would talk about the Gospel as we either got donuts or prepared the Sunday brunch that was usually around 2 p.m.Many times, we would be in New Hampshire skating on Lake Winnipesaukee or in the small boat as a family. The consistent factor of all Sundays was that those over the age of 7 had the Body of Christ in their own body and soul. Missing Mass was unthinkable. Those who hadn’t received their First Communion yet were very close to Jesus in a very special way. We literally walked, splashed and played with Jesus throughout our lives.
When Jesus went “home” with brothers Simon, Andrew, James and John, they must have lived in a similar way. They talked about the Jewish readings. If someone got sick, everyone in the family knew about it. Jesus entered the life of the people to let them know that we are all part of an even larger family where God is our Father and Jesus’ mother is our Mother. Families need to pray and play together in order to grow in deeper love and appreciation.
Jesus healed a lot of people that day. The religious leaders were upset and jealous with Jesus. They accused him of breaking the laws because he healed people on the Sabbath. The people waited until the Sabbath was officially over before they had the courage to bring the sick and addicted to Jesus. I wonder if Jesus was somehow multiplying the loaves and fishes so that he could feed the people after he healed them.
But early in the morning, before the sunrise, Jesus took off to pray.
When is the last time you “prayed” to God or Jesus and didn’t ask for something? When is the last time you got up early to just sit with God with no expectations? How often do you simply say, “Good morning Jesus, it is great to be alive. Where do you want to go today?” Simon and those who were with him pursued Jesus until they found him. Their prayer was a petition so that the people could experience miraculous healings. “Everyone is looking for you!”
Jesus knows when we are sick. When people ask me to pray for healing for them, my prayer is usually for the person to just relax and accept their cross. I truly look forward to my death, but I also look forward to living here on earth. With regards our health, if we are honest, we sometimes are under-responsible for it. And then we are over-responsible for others’ health. Personally, I believe that Jesus is the best health insurance we could ever obtain…and it is free!
Whenever I have been sick physically, mentally or spiritually, I thank God for my sickness, my cross. It wasn’t easy when I got shingles a few years back. In some ways, it gives me time to appreciate my usually good health. I simply breathe in… and then I breathe out…
Jesus has been beside me, above me, below me and within me all my life. I have no fear when I realize that Jesus, my beloved, won’t let anything harm me. When I was in Iraq, I realized the incredible power I had. I can tell Jesus about the need for healing…and I actually do. However, Jesus usually asks me to help Him in the healing. I could see well beyond the war that the people I served would need the healing of Jesus. Once I find Jesus, he is already going on to other places.
“Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.”
Jesus our Savior is counting on you and me to follow him. If you noticed, the disciples never got sick while they were with Jesus. Most of them died because they were murdered. Jesus is on a mission. If you truly follow him you will be healthy. It will require great faith. Jesus is approaching you at this minute, grasping your hand, and helping you up.
Go with him as he spreads the Good News to all nations and peoples.
“The Spirit of the Beloved is upon me because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. God sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to Our Beloved God.”
Let us all have the best week ever as we play and pray with Jesus.
Love, joy, peace,
Father Ron Moses +