After leaving the synagogue he entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked him about her. Then he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them. As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them.
Demons also came out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Messiah. At daybreak he departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowds were looking for him; and when they reached him, they wanted to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.” So he continued proclaiming the message in the synagogues of Judea.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Back-to-school season is in full swing. Flexibility of “summer hours,” long weekends and family vacations are coming to an end. Television networks are promoting fall line-ups and theater companies are soliciting patrons for new seasons. Each will attempt to retell familiar stories from what they hope are new and provocative points of view. After praying through the end times of Matthew’s gospel in August, this week we return to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry through Luke’s perspective.
In today’s episode Jesus arrives in Capernaum after being run out of his hometown for being someone other than who the community thought he should be because of his family origins. His stirring preaching on that particular Sabbath prompts Simon to invite Jesus home for supper. Healing ensues. As a new day begins Jesus faces a decision. Should he choose to stay and set up shop in this place of welcome where his gifts for preaching and healing are appreciated? Or should he continue with an itinerant life, sharing his gifts with others despite the uncertainty and hardship certain to follow?
Jesus chooses the journey. Living into the unfolding of his mission he will learn by doing and being attentive, following the path that is bearing fruit. Before I settle into fall routines, can I reflect on my circumstances and ask Jesus to renew my own sense of mission? Where and to whom am I being sent? How does Jesus want to work through my life and presence to proclaim the good news, to bring hope and to heal?
—Ms. Jenéne M. Francis is the provincial assistant for pastoral ministries for the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin provinces of the Society of Jesus.
In this moment draw me to yourself, Lord, and make me aware not so much of what I’ve given as of all I have received and so have yet to share.
Send me forth in power and gladness and with great courage to live out in the world what I pray and profess, that, in sharing, I may do justice, make peace, grow in love, enjoy myself, other people, and your world now, and you forever.
—Prayer from Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle, by Ted LoderPlease share the Good Word with your friends!