On leaving the synagogue
Jesus, with James and John,
entered the house of Simon and Andrew.
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.
This, my friends, is what you and I are called to.
This Gospel passage expresses beautifully
the kind of life you and I are called to live:
in a mode of continuous service
to other people
and to the spread of the Gospel,
centered upon regular private prayer.
In the first part of the passage, our Lord is simply going about his business: visiting the house of a friend. It would seem a good time to sit back and relax, especially after all that had just happened in the synagogue.
But there is someone in that house who needs help, a woman who needs God’s grace.
Our Lord immediately goes to her and heals her.
Having experienced the healing presence of Christ, the woman immediately devotes herself to the service of others.
But that is not all: even more people come, a literal crowd of people needing help. Our Lord works into the night, healing people of their illnesses and freeing them from their demons.
Son of God, he still takes time to rest, yet he also rises early the next morning and goes off by himself to pray.
He has done great work, but he does not rest on his laurels: he gets going again, bringing many, many more people the truth and the grace that they so desperately need.
Are we continuously attentive, ready at every moment of our day to recognize needs and opportunities for sharing God’s grace?
Or are we focused on ourselves and our agendas?
Are we continuously open conduits of that grace?
Or are we focused on our own strength?
Do we take the time for regular, serious, quiet, private prayer?
Or do we think that we are too busy with our godly pursuits?
May we always look
to the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
and follow in his way.