A Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Carlos Porras Jr. for September 6th, 2023

The Gospel according to Luke (4:38-44)

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them. At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ. At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

REFLECTION: In my ministry as a Chaplain at a juvenile hall, I oversee several volunteers, 20-30 of them, and just before they go to their respective visiting buildings, I usually have some important message to share with them as we gather outdoors, outside my office before they go. But first I need to get their attention. I have used different approaches but the one that always works best is when I ring this loud bell that is on my desk. Once I have their complete attention, I can share the message I need to share with them and one they need to hear. Something like this is what Jesus did in today’s Gospel.

Jesus cured Simon’s mother-in-law, who suffered from a severe fever. Then, later that evening, many people brought to Jesus the sick and possessed, and Jesus “Laid his hands on each of them and cured them.” They were amazed and He certainly got their complete attention. The next morning, as Jesus was preparing to leave Capernaum, the people tried to convince Jesus to stay. But Jesus said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.”

Has Jesus ever gotten your complete attention? Probably most of us, may have never witnessed a miraculous healing firsthand, or seen a demon being cast out of one who was possessed, but Jesus still wants our full and complete attention. He wants us to be amazed at Him and so impressed by Him, to the point that we find ourselves seeking Him out in order to be more fully fed, spiritually, by His divine teaching.

Some people give their full attention to our Lord after a powerful experience on a retreat, as it was my case some 19 years ago.  Others are struck by a powerful sermon. And there are other countless ways by which Jesus has gotten people’s attention so as to fill us with a desire to listen to Him, be with Him, and allowing Him to feed us, spiritually.

Such experiences lay a wonderful foundation by which we are continually invited to turn to our Lord. If this is not an experience to which you can relate, then ask yourself the question “Why?” Why haven’t you been amazed by our Lord to the point that you fervently seek Him out so as to listen to His nourishing Word?

ACTION FOR THE DAY: Think today, upon the initial way by which our Lord, in today’s Gospel, got the attention of the people of Capernaum. Though some would eventually turn from Him, many did become faithful followers on account of these personal experiences. Reflect upon any way that you have encountered our Lord powerfully in the past. Have you allowed that experience to become an ongoing motivation for you to seek Him out? And if you cannot point to any such experience, beg our Lord to give you an interior drive to desire more of Him and to be fed by His holy Word and divine presence.


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