January 14, 2015

The Gospel Today

Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

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.
Reflection (Ramon C. Jamora, Jr.):
The Gospel presents us two important actions of Jesus – healing the sick and preaching the Good News, with emphasis that He came for the latter. There are so many gatherings within the Christian community that involve healing and listening to faith sharing. There are people who had been gifted with the ministry of healing the sick. There are also those gifted with wisdom and knowledge in making people  understand the faith.

With this, I believe that Jesus wants us to experience Him directly through healing and hearing. Healing assures us that He cares, feels, and loves us. Hearing assures us of our salvation, if we follow and obey the Good News. I feel that Jesus really wants to be with us. Healing is something that we experience now, in the present. Hearing the Good News for our salvation is something that we will experience after life on earth, in the future. Jesus continues to manifest that He is really the Emmanuel, the God who is with us.

My personal encounter of Jesus’ healing is not direct. It was through some of the members of my family. When I was still a little boy, my mother experienced difficulty in breathing. She was really gasping for air. I thought then that it would be her last night with us. One of my nephews had Kawasaki Disease. His heart was enlarged and it could have also been the cause for him to leave us early. One of my nieces had an infection in her heart. When she was brought to the hospital, the doctors told my sister that there was only slim chance of survival because most of her heart was covered by bacteria.

These were the severest cases of sickness in my family that really shook us. But in all these, it was only through prayers and the trust that we have in God that, I would say, healed them. There was nothing which we can do, even the professionals seemingly surrendered. To me, it was an event wherein God encountered us. Jesus was there touching them and assuring us that He has never abandoned us.

My family’s faith in God is not something which we already have. It is not there when we were born. I believe that it was through the faith of our family which allowed us to know God. The faith that was transmitted by my grandparents to my parents and then to us, their children, was God’s way of communicating to us. It was the constant preaching in the family that gave us hope and trust in God.

I wish to invite you with my limited story of Jesus’ presence in my family. I believe that God is inviting you to tell His story, first and most importantly, to your family. We may have been invited to a big group but I feel what’s most significant in living out our faith is on how we have shared this faith in our families. My family’s experience of Jesus is certainly unique. And I hope, you will not miss this unique opportunity of welcoming Jesus in your home. May you be healed today!

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