Keep Going, Do Not Stop!

Weekly Missionary Reflection
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 7 February 2021

Job 7:1-4,6-7; Ps. 147:1-2,3-4,5-6; 1Cor. 9:16-19,22-23; Mark 1:29-39

Continuing last week’s story: Jesus works the whole day in Capernaum. On the same Sabbath, but different place: from the synagogue to an ordinary house. Jesus goes to Simon and Andrew’s house. Jesus’ ministry reaches out different kinds of terrains: sacred and profane space! Unfortunately, the host lies sick with fever. Peter’s mother-in-law lies down, inactive and helpless. Her condition is reported to Jesus. Have I ever ‘conveyed’ others’ need, pain and suffering to God?

Only by holding her hand, Jesus heals the woman. There is no much action nor word. Jesus never wants His miracles to be a show. But the impact is tremendous. She who was lying down, now gets up. She who was passive, is now actively serving. Serving Jesus and His followers is a form of discipleship. The woman becomes a model disciple. She is healed to serve. Healing is never only for the sake of own health, but also for serving God and make others healthy. It’s too often that we ask to be healed, but then forget to serve Him!

Miracle always attracts the crowd. Sunset is the sign of the end of Sabbath, the time that the townspeople are allowed to bring all the sicks and demon-possessed to Jesus. In those days, any sickness is believed to be caused by evil spirit. Therefore Jesus heals many sick people and casts out many demons. The expansion of God’s Kingdom being done by Jesus will definitely crush the power against God. However, He asks the demons to keep silent. The identity of Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God, remains a mystery, before humans witness His suffering, death and resurrection!

Jesus is extremely busy. All the townspeople seek Him. Busyness and popularity are unsafe. So, early before dawn Jesus Himself goes off a deserted place to pray, having conversation with the Father about the essence of His mission. Only in silence and prayer we can see the essence of ourself and our mission. Only in prayer and silence we can look beyond the miracle. Miracle is only a sign of a bigger event: the Kingdom of God that is being established by Jesus. It’s so easy for you and me to get stick on signs, or stunned by miracles. If so, Jesus is just a super-man and a magician! He is only sought as a healer, not as Son of God who is obedient as a servant to His death.

In order not to be misunderstood, Jesus does not want to stop at Capernaum. His miraculous power could be easily misunderstood and misused. The people of Capernaum could have made Him an asset for their town. Clinics and healing centers will be opened to get profit. Jesus’ answer is firm: go out of there! How dominant is the word “to go” in this story (vv. 29, 31, 35, 38). Popularity makes people feel at home, staying in comfort zone and unwilling to move. Miracles will make people forget about Jesus’ main mission: to preach the gospel (v. 38). Therefore, He then invites His disciples, including you and me, to go with Him to proclaim the gospel to other cities. Keep going, do not stop!

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
Women of violence victims: We pray for the women of violence victims, so they can get protection and their suffer can be truly felt and get the attention from the community. We pray…

For Indonesian Churches intention:
Family affection: May the Catholic families will be more courageous in learning to live the spirituality of living at home which requires family members to understand each other’s weaknesses and strengthen each other in facing every problem. We pray…

Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
Please strengthen our heart in giving service to others, like St. Joseph, as long as you allow us to take part in raising the Son in the holy family of Nazareth. We pray…

Amen

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