Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cured the Many

January 19, 2012

Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, "You are the Son of God." He warned them sternly not to make him known. Mark 3:10-12


Father, help us to put aside our own agenda which is driven by personal goals. Give us the wisdom to dedicate our lives to helping the economically, politically and spiritually poor around us as they struggle without all the graces and gifts with which we have been blessed. Amen.


A touch. A glance. A moment. That is all the crowds of poor people wanted. As word spread about the healing powers of Jesus, the crowds swelled. As the miracles multiplied, word spread further. Amid all this seeming success, Jesus again echoes his plea to those healed to keep quiet about his actions.

In these early days of his ministry, perhaps he repeated this request so often for the same reason he questioned his mother at the wedding at Cana. "My time has not yet come."

Ever since Jesus cast out the unclean spirits in the temple (Mark 1:22ff), he has embarked on a campaign of healing throughout the countryside away from the prevailing authorities in the temple. He embarked on numerous episodes of curing lepers and paralytics, eating with sinners and tax collectors, breaking the prevailing laws about fasting, and more. Crowds followed him -- not crowds of leaders but crowds made up of the poor and sick. Jesus exhibited the preferential option for the poor long before that term became popular.

Jesus wanted to build up his relationship with the people through these direct corporal acts of "mercy not sacrifice" and miracles. This would hold off his confrontation with the leadership of the church and the Roman authorities until he was ready to take them on. In addition, it would enable Jesus to strengthen his connection with the community members who wanted to be close to him

The people wanted a touch. The leaders wanted an interrogation. Jesus the Healer and Jesus the Exorcist challenged the ruling leaders of the church. Jesus the Cavort-er with sinners and tax collectors challenged the political and social order.

So perhaps by asking people not to speak about the miracles, Jesus could control the timing of his inevitable confrontation with authorities and lay the ground work for the kind of community he wanted to be associated with -- a community serving the poor and powerless.


After a close moment with Jesus, people could not keep it to themselves. Group reunion allows us to be aware and accountable to our commitment to the building blocks of piety, study and action. And then it opens up a path for us to discuss this with others.

How is your group reunion progressing? Are you still meeting so that you can share your journey and close moments? Make a resolution to reconnect with your group this week.

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