The first chapter of the Gospel of St. Mark offers us something like “a day in the public life of Jesus.” In 1, 29-39, for example, St. Mark mentions that “it was still the Sabbath” and, after the synagogue service, Jesus went to the house of His two disciples, Simon and Andrew, in Capernaum. Remember that, as it was the Sabbath, people could not go very far or do anything which could be labelled “work.” Among the 613 “laws” that the leaders of the Jews had created, Sabbath restrictions were among the most burdensome.
In the house, Jesus found Peter’s mother-in-law confined to bed because of a fever. When He was told about it, He immediately went to see her, took her by the hand, lifted her up, and healed her. Immediately, she got up and began to serve them. This was not simply because that was the role of a woman in the home. Rather, it was a way of saying that it was and still is the role of the whole Christian – man or woman – to serve. Healing is not just to make one well, but to enable one to become again an active, serving member of the community.
Let us pray. “Loving God, we implore you to fill us with your healing love. Strengthen us in faith, give us certainty in our doubt, grant us courage in our fear, and allow us to serve you by serving your holy people. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
At our monthly Mass of Anointing today at 8:30am, we will pray: “Father in heaven, through this holy anointing grant to our brothers and sisters comfort in their suffering. When they are afraid, give them courage; when afflicted, give them patience; when dejected, afford them hope; and if ever alone, assure them of the support of your holy people. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”