The readings for today are linked nicely with Psalm 56: In God I trust; I shall not fear.
As I began to reflect on the Gospel reading from Mark, I was reminded of a friend who was always challenging me with his questions. One I remember well is his question, “Why did Jesus heal so many people?” My friend, of course, had an answer that he wanted me to guess. In this case, he felt that Jesus healed not to be noticed or to become known or just because he could. My friend thought that Jesus healed because he needed to gain people’s trust, to be known as someone here to do good. He warned the spirits not to tell his secret because Jesus knew that his actions, life, healings, death and resurrection, would be the only way people would believe he was the Son of God. In essence, his actions would speak louder than any words.
I think we often need to be reminded to trust in God, to not be afraid. Jonathan reminded Saul to trust in the Lord in our first reading today, even if just temporarily. Saul was jealous of David and Jonathan interceded on David’s behalf reminding Saul that it was the Lord who was working through David, the Lord brought about a great victory.
Recently I was processing a loss. A group I was involved with, comprised of people from all over the world, was meeting for the last time. We had been together several times over the past two years and our time together had come to an end. It was a special group for me, one where I could express my views and questions about God and spirituality without fear or judgment. I was suddenly feeling very alone and “homeless.” I was grieving the loss of community. As I expressed this to a friend, he gently looked me in the eyes and reminded me that God is in the homeless feeling. God was gently inviting me to healing through my friend. This was a great gift to me. I knew this but I just needed to be reminded. I could then sit with the tension I was feeling and be at peace; God was with me. I was grateful.
As Jonathan reminded Saul and my friend reminded me, it is important to ask ourselves what people in our lives allow God to work through them and remind us to trust in God, to not be afraid? And then, take a moment to give thanks.
Lastly, and maybe a little more difficult question for reflection, take some time to ask “Who/how are we called to remind others to trust in the healing presence of God? Is there anything that gets in the way of allowing God to use me in this way?”
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