Daily Reflection – 1/23/2020
Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people [followed] from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make him known. (Mark 3:7-12)
What attracts you to Jesus Christ? The fact that He was God or the fact that God took on the form of humanity and walked among us. I venture to say that it is the human Jesus. It is the teachings and beliefs of this God made man that is significant to us. His way, His love, His suffering, His pain.
Of all these characteristics and more, it was His love for us that is so embracing and so comforting. He loves you and me as we are. Yes, He aspires that we rise above our human nature and love one another — selflessly and in His name.
But is that what we see in the world today? Too many shun the sick, the poor, the marginalized. Populists around the world have seized upon the baser nature of humankind and exploited those divisions. There are even some who profess to preach in the name of Jesus Christ who use their congregations for their own self-enrichment.
Yes, of course there is good around us but is it enough? How many remain silent against the tide of selfishness and egoism? How often do we go about our way thinking this matter does not concern me? Or my voice will not make a difference. Or I will lose myself in prayer and Church and maybe that will be enough. Enough for whom? Perhaps for the person but not for humanity. Or I am tired, too old, too worldly and I no longer have the energy to make this my concern?
In today’s Gospel, we see how many people flock to see Jesus and to receive His healing, love and grace. And Jesus doesn’t avoid them. He mingles with them, allowing himself to be touched and so healing them: “those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him.” He makes himself accessible so they can know the Good News of God’s love for them. In this way, Jesus serves as God’s intercessor: “Jesus is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.”
He yearns to bring us into a new family that not only welcomes everyone and treats them with respect and dignity, but rejoices that they are here. He wants us to care for one another with a mercy that is befuddling curious to those who don’t believe. He wants us to build a world where others remark, “See how they love one another. They should be natural enemies, but anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord is treated with mercy.”
This is our challenge. That people all over may see a group of believers relate one another, gathering by the Holy Spirit, under the Church of Christ: “all the believers were one in heart and mind.”
As Christians, we too are called to bring others to God and to share the Good News of God’s love for everyone. Is there anything holding you back from giving yourself unreservedly to God? How can you and make God more “accessible” to others?
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Inflame my heart with a burning love for you and with an expectant faith in your saving power. Set me free from all that hinders me from drawing closer to you. Set a flame anew in my heart to bring others to know your love.
It was the human faith of Jesus in God that saved us. We are not saved because of our faith in him, but because of his utter fidelity to God – even a God he felt was absent in his greatest need. He needed to be completely human to make his work possible. Since he was steadfast to God, he gave us a way of life to emulate. Because he was fully human, not partly God while being human, we place our hope in him. His nature and identity are quite a mystery to behold.