FEB. 7, ORDINARY TIME (B) WK. 5. SUN. MRK. 1. 29-39
On leaving the synagogue, Jesus went with James and John straight to the house of Simon and Andrew. Now Simon’s mother-in-law had gone to bed with fever, and they told him about her straightaway. He went to her, took her by the hand and helped her up. And the fever left her and she began to wait on them.
That evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and those who were possessed by devils. The whole town came crowding round the door, and he cured many who were suffering from diseases of one kind or another; he also cast out many devils, but he would not allow them to speak, because they knew who he was.
In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there. Simon and his companions set out in search of him, and when they found him they said, ‘Everybody is looking for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go elsewhere, to the neighbouring country towns, so that I can preach there too, because that is why I came.’ And he went all through Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out devils.
“He went to her, took her by the hand and helped her up. And the fever left her and she began to wait on them”. We need to stop and think sometimes about “why” Christ performed so many ‘simple’ miracles, such as this one; - and multiple others that have not been recorded?
Certainly, he wanted to prove that he was God, but more importantly I think the reason was for us, in 2021, to have confidence in his ability to “fix things” that are wrong in the world ‘today’; - something we are certainly, and desperately, in need of?
We only need to look at the state of Christ’s Mystical Body today to “see” so many “illnesses”; - with Mass attendances falling dramatically; - with the Sacrament of Confession deemed “no longer necessary”; - and sexual permissiveness widely accepted; - ‘sickness’ is now rampant!
But there is another side to that coin!
Where would we be if, within the Church and Society there was no “sickness”, and attendance at Mass and the Sacraments was running at 95%? Something tells me that we would be “patting ourselves on the back”, at how good we were, and we would become very complacent?
One of the reasons God permits suffering, trials and sickness is that such circumstances ‘cause’ us to turn to him and to cry out for his Mercy and Intervention, and they prevent complacency among us which; - because we are sinners; - could be an even greater tragedy?
And we must never forget God gave another benefit to our sufferings, sicknesses, and trials; - the value of redemptive and atonement for sin; - and not only our own sins, but, even more importantly; - the sins of our neighbours and those who do not believe!
Which brings us to the foot of The Cross! Christ has given redemptive and atonement “value” to our suffering and sicknesses, and it is critically important we recognise this truth! Yes, it would have been wonderful if Christ had not endured his Passion and Death; - Just as it would be wonderful If we did not have to endure sickness and suffering!
But FAITH teaches our sufferings have redemptive value when joined with those of Christ!