Grace to you!
One of the things that fascinate me about the life of Jesus as documented in the bible is his humanness. The apostles didn’t simply paint a picture of Jesus as a superstar or a mystic. They reported what they saw, over and over again – a person who lived a normal life.
Jesus was called names because he ate and drank like a typical Jew. Many of the professional prophets or seers of his time wore the makeup of esoteric mannerism to be seen as “God sent.” Jesus didn’t need any makeup.
Jesus had family and close friends like all of us do. His life was a typical everyday life; the kind you would find with normal people on the street and in our villages.
Maybe, that was why the apostles and disciples couldn’t come to the realization of his divinity until after the Resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. His humanness was too real, too ordinary to be true. Yet, it was the perfect humanity as God willed it. He is the man – “Ecce Homo”
In the Gospel of Luke 4:37-39, we read the famous story of the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law by Jesus. Jesus paid a visit to Peter’s home. Peter’s mother-in-law was sick. This is a true, normal scenario – sickness, pain and suffering are part of human frailties, and our parents and grandparents tend to have a fair share of those.
Observe the role played by people in the house. Despite the casual, normal setting (Jesus was simply stopping by), they knew how not to miss any opportunity. They capitalized on a subtle moment. They had proper discernment not to miss a moment of grace.
Just as Jose Maria Escriva says, “Jesus is passing by everyday.” He passes by our homes, our workplace, our dinner table; he passes by the fields and the gym, etc. Shall we be very aware that he is here? Shall we not miss the opportunity for grace and miracles?
Those in Peter’s house didn’t miss the opportunity. They asked, begged or interceded for healing for Peter’s mother-in-law.
The Lord Jesus, our healer, responded. He healed the woman and she resumed her duties – service.
Often, because the God-encounter with us (whether in our everyday life, during fellowship, at prayer and more importantly at the Eucharist) is too normal, we seem not to realize that Jesus is here. He is with us. He will heal our fever.
Through the intercession of the Church around us, the fever of life that cripples us could be healed. Nonetheless, we need people to notice; people to intercede for the healing.
You know what the fever is? In addition to a medical situation, the saints saw an allegorical significance of the fever to the fever of lust, pride or greed. Saint Jerome called it “sinful passions.” Those Jesus heals.
“Our fever is passion, our fever is lust, our fever is anger – vices which, although they affect the body, perturb the soul, the mind and the feelings” (Saint Ambrose, Exportio Evangelii).
I pray Lord Jesus to visit us today, healing the fever crippling our love and commitment to service. Amen. We pray also for the sick, that they may be healed. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.