Mark 6: 53-56
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
These days of Shrove Monday and Tuesday the world celebrates Mardi Gras and prepares to enter the season of Lent. It is just by the accident of the 2013 liturgical calendar that we hear the Genesis story of creation these two days. As we ponder the events which the author of Genesis uses to describe the seven days of creation, we come to understand God’s overwhelming love for each of us and for our families, as well as God’s great delight in our world with all its beauty and variety.
It is against this backdrop of God’s favor and regard that we prepare to accept the sign of ashes, thereby signaling our readiness to walk anew in the footsteps of Jesus. And we confront the reality that following in Jesus’ footsteps will inevitably lead us to his dying and rising, to Holy Week and Easter. Despite whatever fears of head and heart we may experience, Jesus invites us to accompany him this Lent—perhaps simply by touching “the tassel of his cloak.” As Mark’s gospel reminds us: “All who touched him got well.”
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is an important companion for us during these weeks of Lent. Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, which is also the world day of prayer for all who are sick. In whatever way each of us may need, we ask Mary’s prayer and companionship during this coming journey of healing and grace.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, you know best where we need your healing. We are like the people who followed you seeking relief from their physical pain. We also place before you our wounds that have formed from emotional suffering. We believe that you look upon us with tenderness and compassion. Lord, thank you for your gracious intervention in our past and for your continued faithfulness today and tomorrow.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team