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.
On to the nearby villages. The common thread in the readings is the theme of the endless demands for healing and liberation of those in need.
Job realizes that human life is a string of duties and responsibilities, mirrored in the life of a slave. Paul declares that he has done everything he can to preach the Gospel, adapting to varied circumstances and groups of people, in his desire that they may be saved, becoming “a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible.” And Jesus is busy doing many things: Healing those suffering from various diseases, driving out demons from those possessed, and preaching the Gospel to the crowds following Him.
Though Jesus is so busy that sometimes He and His disciples have no time to eat (cf Mk 3:20-21; 6:31), He does not sacrifice communing with the Father in prayer as soon as He gets up early in the morning. In the midst of all the demands and the burdens, this special time is the source of His consolation and strength. Jesus feels the affirmation of the Father as He lays before Him what He has done in fulfillment of the Father’s will.
People nowadays look extremely busy. Many are into multitasking, but we wonder whether they can spare some time for conversation with the Father. We can be overwhelmed by the demands of work, family, or ministry. Unless we schedule some time for ourselves with God, we risk breaking down.
Jesus shows us that while we spend time reaching out to others in need, we need to be grounded in prayer and be recharged in the spirit. Jesus also makes us realize that what we do is God’s work: we do our part, but God sees to the completion of any mission entrusted to us. Church servants (clergy or religious or lay) often turn their ministries into personal pursuits and projects. And so they become the center and feel very bad when their undertakings fail because they have owned these.
Paul reminds us that while we may have done the planting or the watering, it is God who gives the growth; all ministers are God’s co-workers (cf 1 Cor 3:5-9).
Let us pray that we will all be zealous for God’s work without forgetting the importance of communing with God regularly, so that, after we have done everything, we can leave the rest to God.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.