REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
January 4, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
They brought to Jesus all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and he cured them. Matthew 4:24
Just as the night cannot stand when the dawn breaks over the horizon, Jesus, who is the light, will dispel any darkness in our lives. The darkness of sickness or any virus. Let us always strive to live in the light by responding to the message of Jesus.
Now that we have completed our Christmas Octave celebration and have also celebrated the Epiphany of the Lord, we begin to turn our eyes to Jesus’ public ministry. Today’s Gospel reveals the beginning of His ministry after John the Baptist had been arrested.
In our gospel reference today, many who were in need were brought to Jesus. We can look at this passage from different perspectives. We can look at it from the perspective of the ministry of Jesus, from the perspective of those who have been cured, but also from the perspective of those who brought others to Jesus. It’s this latter perspective that we reflect upon today.
Imagine yourself being one of those who brought to Jesus those with “various diseases,” those “racked with pain,” and those who were “possessed, lunatics and paralytics.” Do you have the necessary love, concern and compassion to be one who brings these people to Jesus? Often times, when we encounter those who are hurting or are the “rejects” of society, we tend to look down on them.
It takes a very merciful and compassionate person to see the dignity of these people and to do something to help them heal and encounter the love of God. Reaching out to those in serious need requires great humility on our part and requires a truly non-judgmental heart. The Son of God came into our world to bring healing and salvation to all people. It’s our duty to help bring all people to Jesus, no matter their condition, level of need, or societal status.
Reflect, today, upon those who fall into this category in your own life. Who is it that is hurting and in need? Who is it that you may be tempted to judge and criticize? Who is it who is broken, sad, confused, misguided or spiritually ill? Perhaps there are people who are physically ill, those battling with corona virus that God is calling you to reach out to, or perhaps it’s someone who is mentally, morally or spiritually ill in some way. How do you treat them? Today’s Gospel calls us to follow the example of these first disciples of Jesus by seeking out those in need and looking for ways to bring them to Jesus, the Divine Healer. Commit yourself to this act of compassion and you will be blessed for your goodness.
Lord God, please give me a heart of mercy and compassion. Help me to realize that You came for all people, especially those who are in serious need. Give me the grace to do my part so that all people will come to enter into Your healing presence. Jesus, I trust in You.