A HOMILY FOR THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “B” – 2/8/15 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
Medicine and taking care of your health, has never been cheap. It can be very expensive to get well and to stay well. Even today, with the Affordable Care Act, medical care in our country is still very expensive. This is not new. Even back in Jesus’ time, medicine and medical care was expensive. We think of the woman with the hemorrhage elsewhere in the Gospel, that spent her entire life’s savings on trying to find a cure for her situation. So today’s Gospel story about the healing of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, is very understandable to all of us. This poor woman is sick with a fever, and Jesus comes along, takes her by the hand, heals her, and she gets up right away and starts dinner. She didn’t even have to take any Tylenol! The fever is just gone! And the story would be really cool even if that was the whole story. But wait, there’s more… Word, gets around town, that Jesus is staying at Simon Peter’s mother-in-law’s house, and pretty soon the whole town starts to show up. It’s free health care! And a chance to get rid of any and all of your demons! It’s even better than Obama Care! Think of all the cancelled doctor’s appointments! And all the medicines that are now no longer going to be needed! And as long as they have Jesus, they don’t even need a hospital! And so, somewhere along the line that evening, it must have dawned on a lot of people’s minds, that for their continued health and for on-going free health care, that they needed to keep Jesus around. What a great thing it was to have Him in their little town! And then imagine waking up the next morning, only to find out that He was gone, that He had already left and moved on.
Of course they wanted Jesus back. This was a great deal! Their little town could have been famous, just like Lourdes in France, but way before Lourdes in France! It is a wonder that they didn’t kidnap Jesus and lock Him up in the center of town. They wanted Jesus, and they wanted Jesus’ healing power, all to themselves. Forget about the rest of the world, they had it pretty good for those few hours that Jesus was in their town and taking care of everybody right there.
It is Jesus Himself Who the next morning has to explain to Simon Peter and the others that they have to move on to other towns and villages. The message is for everyone, not just for a few. And they have to move on to take the message out. You can’t contain this kind of power. You can’t box up and control what Jesus is doing in the Gospel, and you can’t box up or control what He is doing right here in our midst this day! The Gospel, the Good News, is for everybody! And the message itself demands that we take it out into the world, to as many people other people as possible.
My brothers and sisters, this is so extremely important for all of us to hear today as Catholic Christians. We can all have the tendency to want to keep Jesus all for ourselves. We can all want to enjoy the blessings of His great love and power and authority in our lives. And then it is oh so easy for us to forget that we have an obligation to take that same Jesus and His same saving Grace, out into the rest of the world. There are people waiting on us out there, to bring Jesus to them. Many of them don’t even know how badly they need this God in their lives. But we know! And so it is absolutely imperative that we keep evangelizing, that we keep inviting, that we keep sharing the Good News of Jesus with others! And you don’t have to preach. You don’t have to say a word. Just by letting Jesus live and breathe in you, by being an example of His love and His compassion, you can bring Him to others, others who desperately need to know His love, His power, and His peace!
How are you bringing Christ to others? Who are you inviting to His Church? We can’t keep Him to ourselves, you know? He demands that we take Him out to others. Let us be His evangelists, His missionaries to the world! We all need Jesus even more than we need healthcare!
May God bless us today, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!