Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
January 16th, 2013

Marcia Shadle Cusic

School of Medicine
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Wednesday in the First Week of Ordinary Time
[307] Hebrews 2:14-18
Psalm 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
Mark 1:29-39


The last line from the first Reading today states," Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested".  I had to reread this passage several times to try and grasp the enormous suffering that Jesus endured with his death by crucifixion.  Over the course of my lifetime I have often wondered "WHY"- why did Jesus have to die such a humiliating and horrific death? Was it so that we might be able to experience, by imagining, how it must have felt, from a human perspective?  Did the suffering have to be so huge so that we could appreciate a supreme sacrifice that was made on our behalf- in order to help us appreciate God’s love for us or to help us develop our own willingness to suffer for our faith or for the well being of others? The Reading tells us..."through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil."  God's love for us and the supreme sacrifice made for us is overwhelming and all we are asked to do, as expressed in the Psalm, is to acknowledge our faith, live our faith, give thanks, invoke God's name, and look for ways to model what we have been taught, especially through the life of Jesus.

The Gospel message then turns to a very straightforward message telling the story of Jesus healing the mother in law of Simon and then healing a number of people living in the villages that Jesus visited.  I am struck by the inclusion of telling us “he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed".  Jesus was obviously very busy and surrounded by people all the time but he too recognized the need for quiet, individual prayer and He modeled that for us.  The simple and straight forward message for us, as exemplified by Jesus, is to take time out in our very busy lives to be quiet, to be reflective and to pray, asking God to be with us in our decisions, our interactions, our struggles, our lives.  

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