Serve and Proclaim
A Reflection on Mk 1:29-39
By Fr. Ric Chinchilla, CJM
PETER'S HOUSE ... WELL, HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW'S HOUSE?
So he had a wife? Apparently, he did. And apparently, he lived in her family's house. We find a clue from 1 Cor 9, 5. In this verse St. Paul is implying that Peter traveled with his wife on missionary journeys. Bravo for Peter, a disciple, and a husband.
A feverish Mother in Law (Mk 1: 29- 30)
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them. Fever is not a good thing in ancient times, it means that death may be around (no antibiotics). Or it can also mean that a person is blocked by anger and rage. Whichever of the two situation it might be She needs divine help urgently.
Mk 1: 39
They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them. And she began to serve them (disciple attitude - Diakone). She did not serve only Jesus, but all of them ... (it is not: do me a favor, and I will do you a favor).
She turns to service without thinking in stereotypes ... Jesus pulled her out of the fever, meaning: God's love has made her different. So now, she takes charge of her house again and becomes an offering for others; the attitude of a person blessed by God. Jesús always became an example of service, so that his disciples could learn.
AT THE DOOR (SATURDAY EVENING – THE END OF THE SABBATH)
“When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door.”
Jesus at that moment shows desire and openness to receive all those who had ailments and diseases.
• We all know that Jesus came to serve and not to be served.
• He came to give his life
• What the Mother-in-Law started to do after Jesus heals her, is what Jesus does all the time.
“He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.”
The demons speak and according to the text they knew who Jesus was: v. 34 B: not permitting them to speak because they knew him. Well, if the demons know you, let them speak about you, Jesus.
Jesus says: NOOOO!
Preaching that comes from a demon will not be sincere or complete, even if they know in theory who he is, that privilege does not belong to them. Jesus will preach about the Kingdom will full knowledge and control without any external help until they have full experience (Passion-death-resurrection)
Imagine that someone says:
1.- Ahh, yes ... I know who Jesus is, I heard it from a demon.
2. I know Jesus from what I have read.
3.- I know Jesus from what I learned but also through believing in him during good times and hardships, even when my faith was tested.
Which of these is reliable?
Number 3, because there is a personal experience, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. So, the devils who say what they do not live out, better shut up.
Despite having helped so many ...
- Jesus' priority early in the morning is to talk to his Father (Prayer)
- The second person of the Trinity needs to pray? Duh ... YES !!!
Prayer for Him is not utilitarian or for personal material benefit; but because His relationship with the Father is one of total love. IT IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE TO TALK TO HIM! I am referring to a vital necessity: Where there is love, personal presence is worth more than words or gifts. One does not go to pray to ask but to be with the Beloved.
And in the case of Jesus, that relationship of divine love clarifies to him the next steps to take. And for us, what is the driving force behind our decisions: prayer?
« THEY ARE LOOKING FOR YOU » ...Meaning: go back to the crowd, because they want more of you and you can have a captive audience. Well, that is not the style of Jesus.
WHAT WILL HE DO?
Due to his deep relationship with his father, Jesus has an inner freedom. He is and will be where He believes He has to be. This will be a product of his close relationship with his Father, to help his neighbor (deep discernment of what the Father's love wants).
STAY OR GO?
1. The healing of Peter's mother-in-law should help us to see something. She immediately began to serve. Do we carry the desire to approach Jesus to perform a miracle for us, and after he performs it... do we disappear?
2. What were we really looking for? Jesus, the Messiah, the Lord? or the miracles of Jesus? It is important to distinguish this approach.
3. In dealing with my emotions in the face of illness and ailments, am I capable of approaching the Lord to help me to free myself from the ailments that afflict me? Or sometimes to help me cope with them?
4. It is curious that the demons know a lot about Jesus. How much do we know about Jesus? What does this text inspire in us?
5. Jesus goes to a deserted place to pray:
How many things do we need to be able to pray?
Many do not pray if they do not have a well-decorated temple, special music, a religious object, etc. What teaching can we draw from this text?
6. Jesus invites his disciples to go out to announce the Good News: What does Jesus say to us today?