Gospel Reflection Feb 4 – Dcn Candidate Bryan Inderhees
Sunday, February 4
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 1: 29-39
Then they came to Capernaum,
and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said,
“Quiet! Come out of him!”
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
“What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.
Continuing from last week’s Gospel, Mark now tells Jesus’ next moves in three distinct steps: he continues healing, he prays, and he goes forth.
First, we hear the famous story of Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law. But this isn’t a just-got-over-the-fever kind of healing we’ve all experienced. Not only is relief from her sickness immediate, but he is making her greater than she was before by being closer to God. The Greek word we translate as “helped her up” shows that this is a complete lifting up and rejuvenation. After this, all the ill and possessed in town are being brought to Jesus. Do we also remember to come to Christ when we are ill? Do we allow ourselves to be lifted up? Of course, we go to doctors who can help our bodies and minds, but do we let our faith in them reflect our faith that Jesus will “help us up?”
Then, after an amazing Saturday – remember it had been the Jewish sabbath – we hear that Jesus goes out to pray on Sunday morning, to spend time with the Father. The relationship with God is what’s at the center of this and every story. Are we, like Jesus, giving thanks to God for what has been received and direction for what is to come? And Jesus’ direction after that prayer is quite a surprise for his disciples. Peter and his friends find him, thinking that Jesus would want to pick up where he left off. But Jesus says that the direction now is outwards, not inwards. Are we using our prayer and worship as a point from which we can “go forth, glorifying the Lord with our life?” Do we bring Christ with us into the surrounding villages of our lives where we can spread the Good News through what we say and do?
Deacon Candidate Bryan Inderhees