How did the news of Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law travel so fast without social media or texting? The ancient realities of tribal relationships were important two thousand years ago; Jesus doesn’t arrive at Peter and Andrew’s home alone. James and John accompany him. News at that time traveled faster by word of mouth than today’s high-tech methods because of the tight-knit communities.
It is overwhelming to contemplate the whole town gathered at the door of Peter’s home, bringing all who were ill or possessed by demons. Jesus cured them all; it’s no wonder he left before dawn to go to a deserted place to pray. He needed to be nourished by Our Father before he could continue the work assigned to him. Not long before, his disciples found him and invited him back as everyone looked for him. Jesus replied, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose, have I come.”
In this single day, Jesus has displayed three major concrete activities that define his work for the kingdom: healing the sick, teaching, and confronting the demons of our world. Our founder, Saint Peter Julian Eymard, lived his life caring for those on the fringe of society, teaching all ages about the real presence of the Eucharist and bringing lost souls back to Mass – all while he had his health issues. As members of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, we are also called to be partners in the kingdom’s work as outlined in our Rules of Life.
As we begin a new calendar year, now might be a good time to take a moment and review our Rule of Life for Associates (ROLA) and do a self-check-up.
Dear Lord, humbly we ask you, almighty God, to be graciously pleased to grant that those you renew with your Sacraments may also serve with lives pleasing to you. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. (Prayer after Communion from today’s Mass)