The Gospel according to Mark (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.
Reflection: As a kid many of us wished we could be famous, like a favorite sports figure, celebrity, or superhero. We don’t necessarily grow out of this desire but as we get older, we begin to realize that we will not have people chasing us for our autograph, picture, or obsess over our every movement. I had my so called 15 minutes of fame when I “starred” in an instructional video for my work that made its rounds throughout the company. People used to say, “hey, aren’t you that guy from the video?” There were no limousines, paparazzi, or the spoils of stardom but it was fun being recognized.
Jesus’ popularity and fame was growing at an astronomical rate. People from far and wide were coming to see the “miracle worker”. Were people coming because he could possibly be the son of God, the Messiah the one who came to offer not just physical healing but to unlock the gates of heaven and permanently restore our relationship with our father? Or were they coming because they wanted to see what all the fuss was about? Maybe while they were here, they too could find relief from a physical ailment. After all, just a touch of this man was producing miracles.
Maybe we should stop and think, what is our motivation when we approach Jesus. Do we come to receive or do we come to praise and worship and give thanks? Let’s take this one step further and ask, what is my motivation in my relationships with others. Am I thinking about what’s in it for me or do I follow the example of Jesus, the Son of God, who in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God? The one though whom all things came into being came to serve not to be served. Through prayer, God’s grace and mercy, and a humble, contrite heart we can also be healers in a world that is full of injured souls.
Action of the Day: As our brother Deacon Ray Emnace wrote in a recent reflection let us be brutally honest with God but also with ourselves. What gets me up in the morning? What motivates my choices and behavior? Do I have a servants heart or do I look out for myself. Do not be afraid of the answer for our God is merciful and forgiving. He can write straight with crooked lines.