JAN 21. ORDINARY TIME. (B) WK. 2. THU. MK. 3. 7-12.
Updated: Jul 24
Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, and great crowds from Galilee followed him. From Judaea, Jerusalem, Idumaea, Transjordania and the region of Tyre and Sidon, great numbers who had heard of all he was doing came to him. And he asked his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, to keep him from being crushed. For he had cured so many that all who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, would fall down before him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he warned them strongly not to make him known.
The previous reading, after curing the man with a withered hand, concluded: “The Pharisees went out and at once began to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him”, which Jesus responded to by “withdrawing with his disciples to the lakeside, where great crowds followed him!”
So, like today, Christ had to deal with two very diverse groups of people; - those who reject his teachings; - and those who believe; - a situation that existed in the time of Christ, - despite multiple miracles; - and continues today, even after his resurrection from the dead?
What more can God do for us? He sent his only Son to Teach us and to Redeem us and Christ proved to us he was God by all his miracles; - and, at the end of his life he also bore witness to the extent of his love for us by enduring his Passion and Death; - but still many refuse to believe? So why is our response to his Love and Teaching so disheartening and apathetic; - even by those of us who believe?
And the present reading only illustrates further the extent of this issue; - “And great crowds from Galilee followed him. From Judaea, Jerusalem, Idumaea, Transjordania and the region of Tyre and Sidon, great numbers who had heard of all he was doing came to him. And he asked his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, to keep him from being crushed.”
“Great crowds followed him” as a result of all his miracles and cures, as well as the wisdom of his teachings; - but now we have to ask a very obvious question; - where were these “great crowds” when Christ was being crucified on Calvary? Where were all the believers? Where were all those who had been been fed after Christ’s preachings? Where were all those who had been cured of their sicknesses?
There were crowds who were jeering at Jesus, and there were soldiers; - but where were the faithful, and the witnesses to Christ’s miracles?
Does not the same “absenteeism” continue today? Why do our churches remain largely empty? Why is the sacrament of Confession “no longer needed”? Why are nearly every aspect of Christ’s teaching questioned and ignored? Why are vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life dwindling before our eyes? … “Great Crowds” did follow Jesus, but where are they now?
We only have two options; - to allow our Faith and Love to continue to weaken or, alternatively, to strengthen it, via Prayer, Sacrament, Devotion to Mary, Charity, Mortification and Humility; - all of which were taught; - and lived; - by Christ while he was among us!
Remembering also to TRUST in God’s Wisdom and Love as he is the Creator, we the creatures!
Gospel Acclamation cf.2Tm1:10
Our Saviour Jesus Christ has done away with death
and brought us life through his gospel.