Thursday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time
Thursday, January 20, 2022
Holy Ghost Church – 8:00 Mass
1 Samuel 18:6-9; 19:1-7; Psalm 56:2-3, 9-10a, 10b-11, 12-13; Mark 3:7-12
The Gospel today gives us a glimpse into the life of Christ, into his fame, which was spreading everywhere. The people of all these small towns had to come to know of Christ little by little, and had only a glimpse of his person and his divinity through the miracles, through “hearing what he was doing,” and through his teaching.
Jesus is revealing his divinity through the miracles he’s performing. He wants his soon-to-be named apostles to see first hand that he himself is God and has power over all created things, including the demons.
Mark stresses the fact that people are flocking to Jesus from all over, not only from Jewish lands but from among the Gentiles as well. They were all receiving God’s word with expectant faith, persevering hope, and fervent love. We see clearly today that Jesus came to minister to all people, not just the Jewish people.
The miracles of Jesus were not only effective when Jesus stopped on the road, gave someone his attention, and spoke to that person. Of course he did heal in this manner many times. However, the fact that people were being healed by simply pressing up against him paints a new picture of his goodness and how it flows out of him ABUNDANTLY.
Perhaps we can think about this scene as it relates to OUR faith. Perhaps we might picture the crowd climbing over each other and frantically trying to touch him. Do we seek Jesus with the same passion as the people in today’s Gospel sought him?
Let’s ask ourselves, do we have a strong desire and need for contact with Jesus? Do we believe that he can truly heal us when we are in his presence and touch him?
Do we remember every time we receive Holy Communion that we are literally touching Christ? Not only touching him, but actually eating his flesh and blood! Has anyone here ever been to St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican for Mass? If so, you are familiar with how people receive communion there. They crowd around and push in on the priests who are distributing as if to say, “Me Lord! Let me touch you Lord!” This is how I imagine the crowd in today’s gospel.
Let’s also remember how we truly and substantially encounter Jesus, present in the priest, in the Sacrament of Confession. Here we admit to him that we need his healing power in our lives and ask him to absolve us from anything that may be keeping us from fully receiving the grace he wants to share with us in the Mass.
So today, ask the Lord Jesus to draw you to himself with increasing faith, fervent love, and eager readiness to do his will. We don’t need to get his attention, per se, in order to be transformed by him. We simply must be attentive to him at Mass, aware of the awesome privilege we have to receive his true presence in his Word and in the Eucharist.
How blessed are we that we are able to touch Jesus at every Mass we attend! May his healing power bring us into a closer friendship with him so that we can make daily progress in dying to ourselves and living more fully for him.