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Jesus Heals Many
Wednesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them. At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.
At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” and he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, be with me as I contemplate your word in Scripture. I trust that you will speak with me and increase my faith, hope, and charity.
- The Rebuke: The human person was made for wholeness, which ultimately is salvation of our souls and the resurrection of our bodies. Physical illness is a reminder of the imperfection that we continue to face until all is restored and reconciled to God. Only Jesus has the power to restore that which strays from its ultimate purpose. He reveals this by his miracles of nature. Jesus sternly rebuked the fever that plagued Simon’s mother-in-law. The power of his word was revealed. What he speaks is as good as done. Jesus, the Logos and Word of God, is the one who created all the laws of nature. Far from contradicting them, he is capable of setting nature upon its right course. The disciples, from his historical time to the present, continue to act in his name, trusting in his power to restore and heal.
- Humble Service: What Jesus had to offer, he did. The crowds continued to come, desiring to be healed. At times, the physical illness that paralyzed the person was accompanied by demons, revealing the intricate connection between body and spirit. When the demons came out, Jesus silenced them, for they were professing that he was the Son of God. He wished to do good, not to attract attention to himself. He did not wish anything to impede him in these moments from healing the “sheep without a shepherd.”
- Jesus’ Mission: The next morning, Jesus went out to a solitary place. He had engaged with the people and yet sought solitude to gather strength for fulfilling the Father’s will. While the people wanted him to stay, Jesus seemed to have an internal clock that told him when it was time to move on. His actions were guided by the Father, in step with the Father’s salvific and redemptive mission. Jesus knew that more needed to hear the message of the Kingdom. He had many seeds to plant before the consummation of his sacrifice out of love for all of humanity. And so, he moved on. To this day, Jesus has left his disciples to continue his work. Those who are called must listen and take up the work of healing in his name.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, I come before you like one among the crowd, in need of healing, physically and inwardly. Do with me as you please. Help me also to listen to your call to follow you as a disciple, doing all in your name.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will give thanks for the healers who work in your name and support them with my prayers.
For Further Reflection: Gift of Healing: A Catholic Perspective—Mary Healy.
Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi dedicated to spiritual and faith formation through teaching, conferences, writing, and spiritual direction. While serving in Ancient Magdala she wrote Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala and “Nine Days with Mary Magdalene.”