EVERY ONE IS SEARCHING FOR YOU
(A biblical reflection on the FIFTH ORDINARY SUNDAY [Year B], 7 February 2021)
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:29-39
First Reading: Job 7:1-4,6-7; Psalms: Psalm 147:1-6; Second Reading: 1Corinthians 9:16-19,22-23
The Scripture Text
And immediately He left the synagogue, and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told Him of her. And He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up and the fever left her; and she served them.
That evening, at sundown, they brought to Him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered together about the door. And He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew Him.
And in the morning, a great while before day, He rose and went out to a lonely place, and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him followed Him, and they found Him and said to Him, “Every one is searching for You.” And He said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also; for that is why I came out.” And He went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons. (Mark 1:29-39 RSV)
Jesus stirred up a kind of commotion wherever He went. Even early in His ministry, the crowd’s interest in Jesus had the capacity of reaching frenzied proportions. And the scene from today’s Gospel is no exception. Not only had Jesus made a deep impression on the people with His teaching, He also drove out an unclean spirit, healed Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, and performed cures for all the sick and possessed who crowded around His door. No wonder, when Jesus disappeared early in the morning, the disciples went looking for Him: Like a popular athlete or movie actor, He too had fans to attend to! But Jesus gave the disciples an unexpected answer: “Let us go on to the next towns ……” (Mark 1:38).
Jesus never allowed the admiration of the crowds to distract Him from His purpose. The Father had sent Him into the world to open the way for the Kingdom of Heaven, and Jesus worked until He reached His goal (see Luke 13:32-33). Jesus always kept His eyes on this goal, no matter how busy He was or how many people made demands on Him. The Gospel was everything to Jesus, and He longed to see everyone embrace His message.
Two thousand years later, Jesus remains just as focused. When He enters into our hearts at baptism and gives Himself to us in the Eucharist, His one goal is to deliver us from sin and establish His Kingdom in us. He wants to comfort and encourage us, and He wants to pierce our hearts with His truth, to deliver us from evil, and to commission us as His servants.
My dear sisters and brothers, Will you let Jesus reveal Himself to you at Holy Mass today? Will you let Him give you a glimpse of what His Kingdom can look like in your life? Are you willing to be sent out as a witness to His Kingdom?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I open my heart to you. Establish Your Kingdom in me. Use me to bring others to you. Amen.
Jakarta, 6 February 2021 [Memoria of Saint Paul Miki and other martyrs of Japan]
A Christian Pilgrim