The cure of Simon’s mother-in-law

Published February 7, 2021, 12:19 AM

by Manila Bulletin


MARK 1:29-39

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.

Simon Peter’s mother-in-law.

In the First Reading we find Job, stricken with disease, speaking for those who suffer: “So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me” (Jb 7:3). Jesus is very close to our misery and suffering. He performs healings in response to those who come to him in need. In the end, he too enters into this suffering by undergoing his passion and death. Meditating on this, the early Christians apply to him the words of Isaiah concerning the mysterious Suffering Servant of God: “Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured” (Is 53:4).

Mark’s presentation of Jesus performing miracles is simple and direct. Jesus stoops to clasp the sick by the hand, and power flows from him directly. More important for Mark is not the wonder of the act, but Jesus’ closeness to those who suffer.

For Mark, the highest possible knowledge about Jesus is present when one is attracted to him not because of miracles, but because of his suffering and death, a mirror of authentic love. This comes as a result of an evolution that often begins imperfectly. When one already realizes the power of Jesus’ suffering and death and incorporates this also into life, then that person is truly “holy.” In this case, salvation comes not through healing but through transformation—the person becomes another Christ.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: