IN THIS Sunday’s gospel (Mark 1:29-39) we see Jesus in action – raising Simon’s mother-in-law from fever, healing all the sick who were brought to his door by the whole town, and driving out demons. His preaching was accompanied by these signs and wonders, proving that the gospel he brings to the people rests not on empty words but on the power and love of God.
Early in salvation history, during the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land, God had already revealed himself as the Greatest Physician, saying, “I am the Lord who heals you” (Exodus 15:26).
Isaiah the prophet saw this from afar in Jesus’ atonement not only for our sins but also for our sicknesses. Prophesying, he said, “But he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, and by his wounds we were healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
The same Jesus came to destroy the forces of darkness and conquer them with his light. He said, “The thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). We know who the thief is, and by extension, the thieves – the devil and all evil spirits whose only aim is the ruin of man.
Job, in the First Reading (Job 7:1-4, 6-7), was in anguish and misery over his deplorable condition. So too was Simon’s mother-in-law, we could imagine. Nevertheless, at the appointed time, God came to their rescue and raised them up.
Throughout the gospel, we see many people tormented by the devil who were brought to the feet of Jesus. To them, Jesus spoke with authority, and to the amazement of witnesses, the demons had no choice but to obey the Lord’s commands to flee. In so doing, Jesus set free those whom the enemy held in captivity and bondage.
Today, Jesus still heals and he still evicts bad spirits. His love for us has never changed. Like Job, Simon’s mother-in-law and the many nameless people from the villages, we can approach Jesus in faith and humility and ask for forgiveness, healing and deliverance.
In this world we get sick and get healed, only to get sick and healed again. We are set free from our sins, only to become captive again to our evil desires, thus always in need of God’s mercy. This is so because we are living in a fallen world. The disobedience of our first parents and of everyone else who followed, including us, has corrupted this beautiful world.
Nevertheless, let us cheer up, for as Christians, in times of sickness or sin, we can always have access to God’s grace, if we ask with faith and sincerity. It is reassuring to know that Jesus, our Lord, who offered his life for us, now sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding for all our needs.
It is in heaven where we shall experience perfect healing and full redemption. The way to heaven has been set, and there is only one – through Jesus, the Son of the Living God. Let us then put our faith in him, for without him we can do nothing.