Thursday, January 24, 2019

“The poor of the world may be guilty of this and that particular fault or foolishness, but if we are fair we will admit that nothing they have done or left undone quite explains all the odds we see stacked up against them. We are sometimes tempted to look upon the poor as so many ne'er-do-wells we can simply ignore. But they will return to haunt our peace, because they are greater than their badge of suffering, because they are human.”

“The poor are always prophetic. As true prophets always point out, they reveal God's design. That is why we should take time to listen to them. And that means staying near them, because they speak quietly and infrequently; they are afraid to speak out, they lack confidence in themselves because they have been broken and oppressed. But if we listen to them, they will bring us back to the essential.” ― Jean Vanier, Community And Growth

Gospel Text: (MK 3:7-12)
Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples.
A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea.
Hearing what he was doing,
a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem,
from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan,
and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon.
He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd,
so that they would not crush him.
He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases
were pressing upon him to touch him.
And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him
and shout, "You are the Son of God."
He warned them sternly not to make him known.

We live in a society that tends to dismiss the sick and the poor. We are told that because sick people can spread germs, we should avoid them: “Stay clear of anyone coughing with a runny nose or you’ll get sick too.” We are told that the poor are poor because of some deficiency, usually a moral deficiency: “If they weren’t so lazy, then they wouldn’t be so poor!” Society encourages us to isolate ourselves from the sick and poor – to make ourselves inaccessible to them. In such a culture, the sick and poor begin to feel unwanted and unloved.

So it’s refreshing to see Jesus walk among the sick and poor in today’s Gospel. It’s refreshing to see how many people flock to see him and to receive his healing, love and grace. They came from all over Judea. And Jesus doesn’t avoid them. He mingles with them, allowing himself to be touched and so healing them: “those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him.” In short, he makes himself accessible so they can know the Good News of God’s love for them. In this way, Jesus serves as God’s intercessor: “Jesus is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.”

As Christians, we too are called to bring others to God and to share the Good News of God’s love for everyone.

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