5th Sunday: Result of Healing – Mark 1:29-39
In the Gospel, Jesus shows us both simple and profound acts of compassion, as Jesus continued His healing and preaching ministry throughout Galilee. Jesus entered the house of Simon and the disciples immediately told Jesus that Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. Jesus approached, touched her hand, and helped her up. By the loving and compassionate touch of Jesus, she was healed immediately.
Jesus “touched her hand and helped her up.” Here, not only physical healing but also spiritual and emotional healings happened. Today, we are also called to continue the healing ministry of Jesus in our own unique way. People are looking for our love and our compassionate touch. There are many people, who are feeling down, lonely, fearful, depressed, and so on, we can touch them with love, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness and bring them back to life. Like Jesus, we are called to reach out our hands to help others and bring them up. To reach out our helping hands and to bring them up is a challenge and to act; we need special graces, blessings, and strength from God. At the same time, we also need the same loving touch from others for our own healings; let us approach others with our humble and open hearts.
Let us also be instruments of Jesus’ healing ministry by visiting the sick and being with them by our simple presence and praying for their healings. Today, we all need the healings of our minds and our broken relationships. As a hospital chaplain, I experience every day the healing miracles of Jesus. Especially, I see families come together at the bedsides of their fathers or mothers or relatives in their dying stages; before I give The Sacrament of the Sick, I asked the families to pray the Lord’s Prayer together by holding hands.
I have seen tears of healing when these families experience the healing power of Jesus by holding hands and praying together. They might have not met each other for several years because of some of their families’ issues and problems, so they may not like holding hands with each other. But, this power of touch and praying together made them experience healing. The readings today challenge us to go courageously beyond people’s expectations by doing good as Jesus did. Always remember, “we are healed in order to heal others. We are blessed in order to bless others!”
The other important thing we can reflect and meditate on in today’s gospel is that the disciples told Jesus, “Everyone is searching for you.” The people were looking for a “miracle Jesus,” they were not looking for the real Jesus. Only Simon and his companions were willing to follow Jesus to the “deserted place,” which are the places of sufferings and pains, the places of carrying crosses. I wonder where we are searching for Jesus. Maybe we are searching for Jesus in the safety of our own towns, our own familiar neighboring houses, our own comfortable places, and friends.
Let me share with you a small story: A searcher of God, who was traveling and carrying a heavy load, asked whomever he met, “Did you see God.” Everyone gave the same answer. “No.” After a long journey, the searcher was so tired and he sat under a tree; he saw a Guru was also resting under the tree. The Guru asked the searcher, “Why are you looking so tired and sad?” This searcher replied, “I was searching for God to give Him this heavy load, which I have been carrying a long way; I could not find God.” The Guru said, “You saw God in whomever you met and asked about God.” The searcher of God could not believe it; all those I met, God was with them! To know this truth, we need deep and loving hearts! God created a human person, in whom God wanted to live. Unless we are able to reach out to the heart of a human person, we cannot find God. Without considering the human person, how can we search for God?
Let us search and find God in the deserted places of our own lives, the places that we think are barren, empty, and isolated and there we will find Jesus. Our Pope Francis very often says that “Let us find Jesus in the suffering, poor, and sick people! Let us find Jesus in our own good times and bad times, sufferings, pains, and joyful times.” Blessed Mother Teresa also says that “God does not ask us to be superhuman beings but God calls us simply to be human beings with compassion, care, and love for one another and to encounter Jesus in whomever we meet, in the poor and suffering.”