|Memorial of St. Gregory the
Psalm 52:10, 11
“Father, you guide your people with kindness and govern us with
In this reading from Luke’s gospel we encounter several very intriguing elements.
At the beginning and the end of the reading we find Jesus coming from
and going to the synagogue to preach, saying, “ …I must proclaim the good
news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.”
In the midst of going about his work, if you will, Jesus is called upon to
heal the sick. We are told that Jesus “stood over” Simon’s mother-in-law
and “rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and
waited on them.” It may appear a little, or a lot, strange to us that
there is no noted reaction on her part - no mention of gratitude or
praise, just that she “waited on them.” She returned to her routine,
her work, her role as hostess of the home.
Later on, “all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to
him.” I try to picture this scene. Cripples, blind, deaf, dumb,
those suffering from what we know as cancer, or polio, or multiple sclerosis,
or Parkinson’s, or malaria or depression, or alcoholics and drug addicts,
or those with mental and psychological disorders. Were there also murderers,
rapists, child abusers, thieves and liars? The scene is limited only
by my imagination. I whisper, “Where am I in this crowd of the sick
and suffering?” Jesus “laid his hands on each of them and cured them.”
And what happened? “And demons also came out from many, shouting, ‘You
are the Son of God.’” They recognized Jesus as God.
In the moment of cure, in the experience of redemption, I too come intimately
face to face with Jesus. In the flush of blessing and forgiveness God
reveals my sin to me. God reveals Godself to me. And in this revelation
comes freedom. Freedom to be fully and wholly who God intends me to
be – mother, father, spouse, minister, neighbor, daughter, son, carpenter,
plumber, teacher, brick layer, doctor, lawyer or mother-in-law. It
is indeed exciting and good news!
“I, Like a green olive tree
In the house of God
trust in the mercy of God
forever and ever.
I will thank you always for what
You have done
And proclaim the goodness of
Before your faithful ones.”