Jesus indicates that serving God is serving the neighbor. To help the needy, then, is part and parcel of the religion of his followers.
Jesus teaches in the synagogue and amazes the people. And by serving a needy person, he amazes them even more. That is because he cures a man with un unclean spirit.
But the cure does not only confirm the authority of Jesus. It also shows that the one who takes part in prayer and instruction commits himself besides to serving the needy. And it becomes clear that what happens in the synagogue does not stay in the synagogue.
Jesus goes from the synagogue to the house of Simon and Andrew. And they tell him that Simon’s mother-in-law is in bed with fever. So, he cures her in a way that other rabbis will not approve of (see Gospel Comentarios, #1).
In the evening, Jesus cures many more people among those who are gathered at the door. And he does not let the demons speak. Undoubtedly, it is not enough that they know Jesus; they have to agree with him, worshiping and serving God alone.
But by serving the poor, Jesus apparently experiences a greater impulse to worship God. So, he gets up very early in the morning the next day and goes off to a deserted place to pray. When the disciples find him, he displays more energy to fulfill and expand his mission. And he ends up going throughout the whole of Galilee. He takes part in prayer and instruction in the synagogues, curing every disease and illness.
Lord Jesus, give us the grace to do as you do, serving God and the poor. May our celebration of the Eucharist lead to something like a procession of people who are serving the poor (SV.EN IX:192). Make us preach the Gospel also by words and by works (SV.EN XII:78), and without charge, to the burdened like Job.
4 February 2018
5th Sunday in O.T. (B)
Job 7, 1-4. 6-7; 1 Cor 9, 16-19. 22-23; Mk 1, 29-39