As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.
And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
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
Today’s gospel is from the very first chapter of Mark. Jesus begins his public ministry very close to home with the healing of Simon’s mother in law.
This reminds me of a phrase which I heard from my parents more than once as I was growing up with my five siblings, “Charity begins at home.” We loved each other, but many a time it did not show the least bit in our words and actions with one another. Our parents not only gave us incredible love, but they also taught us—maybe insisted is a better word—to share it with each other.
The gospel also makes me think about St. Ignatius’ reminder in the fourth week of the Spiritual Exercises that love shows itself in action even more than simply in words. Jesus certainly models that for us as he starts his ministry of making God’s love known to us, through performing many amazing miracles.
I ask myself today: whom has God placed close to me, who needs love, healing and care? What concrete actions can I take to make my own and God’s love known to them?
—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.
Lord Jesus, we ask you now to help us remain with you always, to be close to you with all the ardor of our hearts, to take up joyfully the mission you entrust to us, and that is to continue your presence and spread the good news of your resurrection.
—Carlo Maria Martini, S.J. in Hearts on Fire, ed. Michael Harter, S.J., © Loyola Press, 2004.