January 13, 2021 – Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/011321.cfm)
In a community or society, people who have the power rule others into submission. People who are powerful are believed to have wealth which gives them influence, entitlements and high positions. Consequently, these powerful people may also tend to relate with those who are under them as their mere subordinates. Manipulation to advance the self-interest of the powerful and to stay in power is very tempting in this kind of relationship. When a powerful person submits to this temptation, then, most likely the powerful will use force, violence and incite fear towards others in order to preserve and even consolidate his or her power.
Among couples, a husband who plays powerful may most probably relate with his wife in terms of control. It commonly happens in abusive relationships where a partner places the other into submission through manipulation, deceit, pretension and fear.
However, all these forms of exercising power are filled with so much insecurity and evil. This kind of power destroys relationships and life of people. This is the power of death, of the devil that the Letter to the Hebrews was telling us about. This is also the power that Jesus destroyed in order to free us from fear and from slavery.
Moreover, in today’s Gospel, Mark proclaimed to us the life-giving and healing power of Jesus. This power that Jesus showed us transforms life, heals the broken and frees the troubled. This was described to us in that scene when Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in-law. The power of Jesus was described to us three actions.
The first action was when Jesus approached her. Jesus and his friends were received into the house of Simon and Andrew. By welcoming the Lord into their home, Jesus was also made aware of the sickness of Simon’s mother-in-law. With this awareness in Jesus, he approached the sick woman. This action of Jesus to approach the sick has the intention to manifest God’s presence.
The second action was when Jesus grasped her hand. Jesus has manifested God’s presence, with this, Jesus also brought God’s touch to the sick woman. God touching her meant God’s compassion towards her. The touch of Jesus was God’s most abiding presence giving her the strength.
And the third action was when Jesus helped her up. The strength from God was the gift of healing granted to the sick mother-in-law. Because she was lying down and her fever overpowers her, she needed help from another. This very action of Jesus helping her up tells us that God supplements and journeys with us towards our freedom and healing.
From these three actions, Jesus showed us how our presence, our touch and our concrete action in helping another will manifest power that brings comfort, compassion, healing and even life.
This is the very reason why after the healing of Simon’s mother-in-law, people with various diseases and those who are ill or possessed by demons flocked towards Jesus. Because the power of Jesus is not of force and violence, people begin to recognize God’s power. In Jesus what we really see is God’s power who wills our joy and desires our healing and to experience the fullness of life.
For us today, let these three actions of Jesus be our invitations in our relationships. But first, let us welcome the Lord to come to us, to welcome him in our hearts. Then, let us allow the Lord through his instruments to approach us, to hold us, and to help us. They may be our friends or family members or even strangers who have the intention to love us.
With that, we may also become God’s instruments who will manifest his power in our homes, workplaces and communities by approaching, holding and helping those who are sick, weak and vulnerable.
May God’s life-giving and healing power dispel every fear, insecurity, selfishness, illness and evil in our hearts, through the intercession of Mary, Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Hinaut pa.