Today’s Gospel: Luke 4:38-44
This reading is somewhat complex as there are three different seemingly unrelated vignettes. The first scene is probably amusing to most mothers. Simon (Peter’s) mother-in-law lays ill. The apostles ask Jesus to heal her which, of course, He does. Then she jumps up immediately and begins to serve them. Typical – no matter how sick you are you’re expected to take care of everyone else! One could, uncharitably, wonder what the apostles’ motives were in asking Jesus’ help. Let’s assume, however, that their motives were pure and instead look at the lesson they are teaching. To me, it’s about the importance of intercessory prayer.
While the Lord knows all our needs we need to demonstrate our reliance on Him and ask for help. The act of humbling ourselves to admit we’re not the one in charge opens us up to a richer relationship with God. As in this scene, we are also called to ask for mercy for others too. We imitate Jesus when we show our love for others.
The second paragraph is startling to me. Even the demons “knew he was the Messiah”. That’s a confronting thought. The demons had faith? The demons knew who Jesus was? Perhaps we should seriously examine our relationship with God if the evil ones can demonstrate such faith. Does my life reflect my faith?
Which leads us to the end of the story here. After this healing Jesus takes time to away to a quiet (deserted) place. Once again, Jesus demonstrates how to live a holy life. It is important to reflect, refresh and renew ourselves. This brings to mind the ubiquitous airplane warning to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others. Jesus takes the time to commune with His Father. Quiet time like this provides the opportunity to praise God, intercede for others and just rest in Him. I suspect we (particularly women) feel guilty taking time alone. Yet the divine healer, the ultimate servant, takes time to recharge.
In these seemingly unrelated vignettes, Jesus shows what holiness looks like. Intercede for others, in both prayer and service. Acknowledge God and Who He is in my life. Finally, take time for quiet prayer and reflection.
Do I follow Jesus’s example of holiness by interceding for others, acknowledging The Lord and taking time to refresh myself?
Dear Lord: Thank you for the divine example of holiness you give us in Jesus. Please give me the strength to follow his example in both caring for others as well as myself. Amen.
Copyright 2017 Ann Rock
I’m a mother of a 21-year-old son Last year my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. I work as a companion to senior citizens.
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