Jesus miraculously heals Simon Peter’s mother-in-law and many others. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Prayer so he can build a daily discipline of prayer and by growing in the Virtue of Faith so he can always ask Jesus to heal the ill and injured.
1st Week in Ordinary Time – Wednesday – Mk 1:29-39
After teaching and healing in Capernaum on the Sabbath, Simon Peter invites Jesus to his home for a meal and to offer 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. As the sun sets, 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. Desperate to know where Jesus went, Simon Peter and the other disciples search for, and find Him. Rather than returning to the comfort of Peter’s home in Capernaum, Jesus reveals His near-term mission is to evangelize the towns throughout Galilee by preaching and casting out demons, and calls the disciples to follow Him; as when the disciples left everything when they were first called by Him, they again immediately leave Capernaum and follow Jesus.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be impressed with the powerful Physical Strength and Stamina of Jesus: He 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.
Build a daily discipline of Prayer
Realize: If Jesus, a Divine Person of the Trinity and the perfection of manhood, set aside time multiple times each day for His disciplined prayer life, how much more do men who are sinful need to be zealously committed to spend time in prayer.
Believe: Reflect upon Christ’s Example of Prayer (CCC 2599-2606).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Prayer, help me build the Virtue of Prayer (a part of Justice) so I always remember my deep need to draw close to You and set aside time each day to speak and listen to You, my Lord and my God.
Always ask Jesus to heal the ill or injured
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 practice of the Prayer of Intercession (CCC 2634-2636).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Physician, help me build the Virtue of Faith so I have faith in Your Divine Power to heal any malady and remember to always pray for those who are ill or injured.