Daily Gospel Reflection for January 11, 2017

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Today’s Gospel: Mark 1:29-39

In the dead of winter, it does us good to be faced with the breathless pace of Jesus’ ministry. We are scarcely at the beginning of Mark’s Gospel, but Jesus has already been baptized by John, been tempted in the desert, chosen his Twelve followers and cured a man possessed by demons.

Today, he leaves preaching in the synagogue and comes to the home of Simon, whose mother is ill. He cures her and immediately she gets up to wait upon them. Then, everyone else who is ill in the area comes to the home and Jesus ministers to them while admonishing the cast out demons to remain silent. Although he rests for the evening, he gets up early the next morning to pray. When his disciples find him, he tells them that he means to move on and do the same in the other villages.

This Jesus is so full of energy despite the overwhelming odds. He is the strong man who shows up to overcome the spiritual and physical forces that bind others. Yet he also accepts the hospitality of Simon’s mother and seeks physical renewal in sleep and spiritual solace in Morning Prayer. As we bundle up for the cold outside, as we go about our day, or shrug off these layers when we enter the warmth inside, we too have opportunities to go into the world as a force for good, as one driven by the Holy Spirit. We minister, are ministered to, rest in God, and return again restful and restless for God’s reign.

Ponder:

If we do not seem to have the time or energy to help others, can we at least take a moment to see if God is offering us someone to wait upon us or an opportunity for us to rest or pray?

Pray:

Jesus, you silence the demons, but bid us to call God, Father. Let your Spirit drive us to boldly minister and witness to the Good News.

 

Copyright 2017 Jay Cuasay
Dedicated to my son Joshua Emet S. Cuasay who was born into eternal life on this day.

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About Author

Jay Cuasay is a freelance writer on Religion, interfaith relations and culture. A post-Vatican II Catholic father with a Jewish spouse, he is deeply influenced by Christian mysticism and Zen Buddhism. He was a regular columnist on Catholicism for examiner.com and a moderator and contributor to several groups on LinkedIn. His LTEs on film and Jewish Catholic relations have been published in America and Commonweal. He currently ministers to English and Spanish families at a Franciscan parish. He can be reached at jay.ctr@gmail.com or at TribePlatypus.com.

2 Comments

  1. Jay, I love your reminder that for us to be well equipped to care for those around us and to share our faith with them, we need to care for ourselves too! Thank you for reminding me to seek out the help I need, and to offer that same help without being asked when I know that it is needed!

    • It was a fact of life impressed upon us in theology school. But I was also always struck by the scriptural verse at the conclusion of Jesus’ temptation in the desert: “…and angels came and ministered to him.”(Mark 1:13)
      It is good to remember that he too had those moments, that they were vital.

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