Jesus miraculously heals Simon’s mother in law and many others. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Fruit of Love from the Holy Spirit so he can be moved to always love and care for the Sick and by seeking the Gift of Knowledge from the Holy Spirit so he can be guided to bring the sick and dying to the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
22nd Week in Ordinary time – Wednesday – Lk 4:38-44
After teaching and healing in Capernaum on the Sabbath, Simon Peter invites Jesus to his home for a meal and gives Jesus shelter for the night. Consistent with Jesus’ eventual pronouncement of Peter as the first leader (pope) of His Holy Catholic Church, Jesus honors Peter by residing at Peter’s house; Peter’s house will be Jesus’ Galilean base for His ministry. Unfortunately, Simon Peter’s mother-in-law is ill with a high fever that caused her suffering but also presented practical problems: providing excellent hospitality was an important custom in the Middle East, and failing to do so would bring dishonor; her help was needed to feed a large number of people; her fever may have caused fear of contagion among the guests.
Demonstrating his growing faith in Jesus, Simon asks Him to help his ill mother-in-law. Without delay or fanfare, Jesus simply takes her by the hand and lifts her, and she is miraculously healed, and immediately serves Jesus and the other guests. At sundown, large numbers of desperately ill people crowd around Simon Peter’s house; Jesus heals many of the sick or demon-possessed, silencing the demons who seek to speak to the “Son of God”, further evidence of His supernatural power and Divine Identity.
After working late into the night to heal all who came to Him, Jesus, forgoes sleep, and as was His practice, departs early in the morning to a deserted place to pray. Realizing that Jesus has disappeared, the people search for, and find Him, and attempt to stop Him from leaving, for they desire to be near Him and perhaps to also bring others to be healed. But Jesus departs from Galilee, confirming that He has been sent with a specific purpose, though He does not at this point reveal that it is God the Father who has sent Him; He will start to fulfill His purpose by expanding His preaching and healing to Judea.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be impressed with the incredible Diligence (a part of Justice) of Jesus as He fulfills His mission given by God the Father: He tirelessly preaches and heals in the synagogue, including exorcising demons; He works late into the night in the grueling mental and physically demanding work of meeting with, and healing large numbers of desperately ill people, and casting out demons; He sleeps little and goes out in the wilderness to pray, hours before dawn; He immediately begins another day of arduous walking, preaching, and healing.
Love and Care for the Sick
Realize: Every man experiences illness, either mild or severe, and relies to some degree on the care of family, friends, and healthcare workers; in response, every Catholic man should seek to help care for others.
Believe: Reflect upon how Christ Comes to Heal the Sick (CCC 1500-1509).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruit of Love so I am filled with compassion and inspired to generously Care for the Sick (a Corporal Work of Mercy).
Bring the sick and dying to the Sacrament of Anointing
Realize: Many men put their exclusive trust in modern medicine for healing illnesses; while prudent to seek medical help, every Catholic man should acknowledge Jesus’ Divine Power and always ask Him to heal the sick of their illness, routine and severe, in accordance with His will.
Believe: Reflect upon the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick (CCC 1510-1523).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Knowledge so I can know when and how to bring those who are sick or dying to receive the supernatural graces of the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.