Did you notice a recurrent theme through the Gospels at daily Mass this week?
The Gospels of Tuesday through Friday included accounts of some of Our Lord’s healing miracles. The week was bookended by Our Lord’s calling of four of His disciples. To recap:
Tuesday: The cleansing in a synagogue of a man with an unclean spirit (Mark 1:21-28). This Gospel notes that Jesus taught “as one having authority.” Each one of Our Lord’s words have a saving significance for us. May we follow His teaching in every facet of our lives.
Wednesday: The healing of Simon’s mother-in-law, among others (Mark 1: 29-39). An important detail from this Gospel is that Jesus rose before dawn to pray. We would do well to follow His example and begin everyday with prayer.
Thursday: Our Lord heals a leper (Mark 1: 40-45). I think it is significant that Jesus actually touches the leper who is made clean. Under Mosaic law touching a person stricken with leprosy made one ritually–if not actually–unclean. For us it is important to be morally clean so that we can offer pleasing worship to the Father. Friday’s Gospel completes this one: Our Lord’s healings are more than skin deep.
Friday: The healing of a paralytic who was lowered through the roof by his friends (Mark 2: 1-12). The paralytic was brought the Jesus by his friends. The paralytic’s friends overcame the lack of space by their persistence. We too must be powerful intercessors for our friends when it comes to their healing and bringing them to the Lord. Persistent prayer is remains constant even with the passage of years. Obviously the most important action of Jesus was the forgiving of the paralytic’s sins.
Bookends: Monday’s Gospel portrayed the calling of Andrew, James, and John. Today’s Gospel shows the calling of Matthew. As Our Lord used the apostles to bring His message and healing to the world, so Our Lord can use us to bring the same to the world today.
In today’s Gospel Our Lord says, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.” We must remember that every person needs the healing that Jesus offers. All people are initially sick as a result of original sin. Without grace persons die twice because of their sickness. When a person receives Jesus’ healing/grace they also receive a joy that is much better than any effervescent pleasure which disappears soon after it arrives. Any call from the Lord is not only for the person who receives it, but for others by service. By baptism every person must share in the Church’s mission of evangelizing the whole world and bringing Christ’s message to all, especially the most marginalized.