Daily Reflection
September 3rd, 2003
Joan Howard
University College
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Memorial of St. Gregory the Great
Colossians 1:1-8
Psalm 52:10, 11
Luke 4:38-44

“Father, you guide your people with kindness and govern us with love.”

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
Your name
Before your faithful ones.”


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