Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

(Hebrews 2:14-18; Mark 1:29-39)

People were talking about the burdens of old age.  One participant of the conversation asked, “Ninety-four years – who would want to live that long?”  An elderly sister answered, “Maybe someone who is ninety-three.”  Few people with reasonable health want to die.  Most hope to keep enjoying family and friends, food and entertainment.  The readings today assure that Jesus understands human desires.  He aims to assist us with our natural needs.

In the gospel Jesus is pictured curing illnesses from Peter’s mother-in-law’s fever to “various diseases.“ Certainly he staves off death with these healings.  The first reading suggests a more comprehensive campaign against death. The Letter to the Hebrews testifies to how Jesus’ paschal mystery has overcome both death and the dread of it.  It reminds believers that clinging to him they too will rise from the dead. This means that they may live without anxiety, choose without intimidation, and dream without fear. 

We want to visit Jesus.  The gospel describes how “the whole town was gathered at the door.”  We can place ourselves there through prayer.  When we talk him as with our doctor, his will for us will be clarified.  He knows how we feel because he experienced our human life.  He will tell us to be bold with our love and humble with our expectations.  Such is the way of victory over death.