In today’s gospel story we heard that Jesus heals Peter mother-in-law who was threatened by a convulsion caused by a high fever which was considered a deadly disease in the ancient times.
The healing of Jesus was considered a miracle for three reasons:
- Caused by the personal intervention of Jesus
Because of this healing miracle of Jesus, news spread near and far, that Jesus has the power over sickness and death. As a result, “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. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him” (Mk 1:32-34).
What is something unique in the story is this. In spite of being busy doing the “work of God” Jesus never fails to forget the “God of work.” As the gospel writer relates, “Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed” (Mk 1:35).
What usually is our justification for failing to pray, for failing to go to Mass? Usually it may be one of the three or combination of them all.
- I’m busy.
- I’m self-sufficient so what’s the use of praying.
- My work, apostolate, service is my prayer.
If there is any person who has the credibility or right to say them all is no other than Jesus. But Jesus never fails to find time and place to be alone with God the Father in prayer, intimacy and friendship.
Ezra Taft Benzon says it best when he wrote:
“[Jesus] communed constantly with his Father through prayer. This he did not only to learn the will of his Father but also to obtain the strength to do his Father’s will. He fasted and prayed forty days and forty nights at the beginning of his ministry. (Mt. 4:2; Mk 1:13; Lk 4:2) He prayed all night just before choosing his twelve apostles. (Lk 6:12-13.) He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Mt 26:39) It would seem that during his earthly ministry he never made a major decision or met a crisis without praying.” (Come unto Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 44.)
When you have problems, when you are in trouble, in crisis, and difficulties, when you are confronted with major decisions and tasks in life never fail to find time and place to be one with God in prayer, communion and friendship. With God everything is possible. With God we bear abundant fruits. With God, like Jesus, we can also overcome the world.