Jesus Is Alive With His Healing Touch and Words Today

Jan 30, 2018

Gospel Reflection, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Job 7: 1-4, 6-7; 1 Corinthians 9: 16-19, 22-23; Mark 1: 29-39

Jesus Is Alive With His Healing Touch and Words Today

When you go to the Holy Land, you can visit Capernaum.  On the shore of the Sea of Galilee, you can visit the city which was rediscovered by archaeological digging, and is a popular destination among pilgrims visiting there.  This is where Jesus stayed after leaving his home village of Nazareth and where he began teaching Peter and the other disciples.  Among the excavations there, the beautiful synagogue stands out.  Jesus preached there and this is where he healed the sick and freed the possessed through exorcism.  Here he spoke those unforgettable words about being the “bread of life” and that he would give his people his flesh to eat: the holy Eucharist.

It makes a deep impression when you realize he was actually there and that right next to it was Peter’s house, according to an old tradition.  Now, a modern church is built over the site, but you can still see the house underneath.  The gospel is not a fairy tale, but rather an account of the real events of Jesus Christ.  We learn from this real event that real people saw him and heard him.  But they also experienced his touch and his commanding power.  He took a little girl by the hand and said, “Little girl, get up!” and she got up.  He touched and cured many who had so many different ailments.  Now, he touches our hearts today through the sacraments, transforming our hearts, so that we may acknowledge him as the Son of God.  In this way through faith, we can experience his touch and receive the power of his grace. 

But Jesus did not take the way of success.  The very next day, he left, first for silence and prayer, and then to carry on his work in other towns and villages.  Why should he not come as far as us, right into the place that we live, and into our homes?  The gospel story can happen where we live.  Jesus can come into my home, and “take by the hand and lift up” me or one of my loved ones, whoever particularly needs it.  We do well to go away for a while like he did to pray, even if we should be told after a short time, “Everyone is looking for you.”  We need only to trust and ask for his healing touch, as Simon Peter did then on his mother-in-law’s behalf.

Father Tony