Father Ian VanHeusen presents a gospel reflection and spiritual exercise on the Gospel reading from the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mark 1:29-39, when Jesus visits and heals the mother-in-law of Simon Peter.
We invite you to watch Father’s video, then prayerfully read the Gospel and reflection. We pray that this might help you in your apostolate, your family, your classroom, or personally… to prepare for and more deeply experience Sunday’s Mass, and to better integrate the Sacrament and the readings into your daily life.
Mark 1:29-39 presents a day in the life of Jesus Christ. As otherworldly as His days might seem, filled with miracles and healings and wonder, this passage teaches us four things about having a good daily routine that we can apply to our own lives.
It seems so obvious, and we might take it for granted in reading the Gospels, but Jesus is always around people – in their homes, interacting with their families, etc. But us? Are we not sharing our lives? We are often isolated even within our own families, turning to screens and avoiding truly being present to each other. A happy, fulfilled daily routine will entail interaction, engagement, being interconnected, and – especially – putting in the work face-to-face.
Our Lord had a heart for service, not just living for Himself. In the gospels, He’s constantly investing in people, in friendships, in strangers who need Him. Are you thinking of others first?
Friends and family are all well and good, but is your life flourishing with unconditional love? What about reaching out to those outside our comfort zone? The margins… the socially awkward… do you engage them? Extend relationships further. Seek out and cultivate the little ways of having a mind – a preferential option – for the poor. And remember that “the poor” are not just those without money; they are all those who are in some way less appealing, more difficult, more marginalized.
Despite this activity and social presence, we still must retreat into the silence of our hearts, to seek quiet time to pray. You need to cultivate a stable, daily prayer life with just you and the lord.
Examine your heart. Is your daily routine mirroring these 4 elements?
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.
The Gospel of the Lord
Follow Fr. VanHeusen at http://ianvanheusen.com
Photo credit: Joey Nicotra / Unsplash
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