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healing of the mother-in-law

Once upon a time, an elderly woman gets an invitation to visit her daughter who lives in a neighboring town to spend some time with her family. The woman could not wait as she gets herself ready for the trip. She thought about her grandchildren and their “sweet troubles” around her which she cherishes with great maternal love. She also remembers their kitchen which also serves as preservation grilled fish and visualizes how a sizeable bag of fish would always accompany her home at the end of her visit.

Arriving at her daughter’s marital home, the woman could notice a lot of changes. Her daughter and the children behave differently as she notices some form of decency. In the kitchen, she could see a fewer number of fish by the fireplace. Her grandchildren switched role with her as she listens to them tell her stories mainly about a man from Galilee called Jesus Christ, who is the promised Messiah and how he is doing a lot of teaching and healing works. It was at this point that her daughter reveals to her that her husband had abandoned his fishing trade and followed the new preacher in town and that explains why he has not been home for few days.

The entire episode was overwhelming for the woman, and the thought of not getting enough fish bothered her slightly. However, she was happy that her son-in-law, who could scarcely leave his fishing trade to attend any religious activities, is now in the forefront with the new preacher in town, “that would be more than bags of fish,” she thought.

The next day, however, turned out to be an unhappy one. The woman suddenly took ill with a very severe fever in the middle of making dinner for the family. All the available medications failed. Suddenly, her son-in-law appeared with Jesus Christ the great preacher and healer and did you know what happened when Jesus Christ entered? The Gospel of Mark (1:31) says: “He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them”.

Today, I wish to connect sickness to the absence of what should be present. It indicates a lack of an essential quality that should instead be present. For Simon’s mother-in-law in the Gospel of today (Mark 1:29-39), it was the absence of good health, for Job in the First Reading (Job 7:1-4, 6-7), it was the absence of the good life he had earlier following the series of predicaments that trailed his life. For you, it may be the absence of joy, success, job, a good relationship, dependable marriage, a good home, financial favors, and ultimately the lack of God which is the most significant sickness.

In the Gospel narrative, we could imagine what it was before the visit of our Lord Jesus Christ to Simon’s house. The woman was in great pain and the people around her could have also been uneasy as she was not getting better. But when our Lord Jesus Christ, the healer, and master of every sickness, arrives, the fever could not stay again. The story about the healing opened the door for all others who were sick to receive their healing.

It was the healing of the mother-in-law of Simon and other people in the Gospel narrative. Today, it is about your healing. Even the most physically healthy among has a sickness. Today, God invites us to examine our lives and make our sicknesses available to Him because He is our healer (Ex. 15:26). No sickness is beyond God’s healing power:

May God help us to identify our sickness and present them to Him so that with the psalmist we could proclaim, “praise the Lord, who heals the broken-hearted.” Have a beautiful Sunday and may you experience divine visitation for healing in the coming days.

Fr. Bonnie.








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