Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Have you learned from Jesus to respond to somebody’s need even when you are tired? - Daily Reflections August 31, 2016

Today’s Gospel mentions that the Apostle Peter had a mother-in-law, which means that “the first pope” was a married man, not elected by cardinals but personally chosen by Christ Himself. In fact, for at least the first 200 years of Christianity, married priests and bishops were the rule. St. Paul wrote to Timothy that a bishop should be married only once. Only slowly were married clerics, for various reasons, replaced by a celibate clergy.
       Let us not discuss now whether priests should get married or not but let’s have a look at the first part of the Gospel that deals with Peter’s motherin-law. There are three important lessons in this short incident.
       We know only too well that Jesus was always ready to help. He had just left the synagogue. Every preacher knows what it is like after a service — he longs for rest. But no sooner had Jesus left the synagogue and entered Peter’s house than the cry of need reached Him. But He did not say that He was tired and must rest; He answered it without complaint. Jesus is always ready to help.
       He did not need a crowd to work miracles. Many people will be at their best in public and at their worst at home. All too commonly, we are kind to strangers and then the very opposite when there is no one but our own folk to see. But Jesus was prepared to perform a miracle in a village cottage in Capernaum when the crowds were gone.
     When Peter’s mother-in-law was cured, she immediately began to serve them. She realized that she had been given back her health to spend it in the service of others. She wanted to get on with cooking and serving her own family and Jesus. Mothers are always like that.
       And I think here is a message for us. We would do well to remember that if God gave us the priceless gift of health and strength, He gave it that we might use it always in the service of others. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
REFLECTION QUESTION: Have you learned from Jesus to respond to somebody’s need even when you are tired?
Lord, help me to never forget that the best way to thank You for my life is through humble service offered to a needy person. Amen.

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