January 19, 2017
Mk 3: 7-12
Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around 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; for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!” But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“…were pressing upon him to touch him.” In today’s Gospel we see Jesus being followed and surrounded by a crowd, all wanting his attention and wanting to touch him. It reminded me of scenes from the news of people surrounding the pope, or politician, or celebrity. All wanting to get close and perhaps talk to this person they respect or admire.
When we have the opportunity to be near someone famous, why is touch so important? Is it because we seek intimacy? Are we looking for a sign of recognition? Or of hope? What is it that we seek?
The people in today’s gospel story were seeking the same. They wanted to be noticed, to be recognized, to be healed. This man, Jesus, could give them all of that by a mere touch of his hand
I know that if Jesus walked into my room right now, I would want to talk with him, listen to him, and yes, touch him. A handshake or a hug just to know that the one I love is real, is with me. And through that simple touch he would know me, he would recognize me. We would have a connection.
—Margaret Horner currently serves as the Director of Liturgy at Gesu Parish, Milwaukee, WI.
You are all we have;
you give us what we need.
Our lives are in your hands, O Lord,
our lives are in your hands.
—Francis Patrick O’Brien, © GIa Publications, Inc.
THE POPE'S PRAYERS
Daily ExamenThe examen is a prayer popularized by St. Ignatius Loyola that helps us to recognize the ways that God is present and active in our daily lives.
- Stillness: Quiet yourself. Close your eyes and be still. Remember that in this moment you are in God’s presence and that God is now loving you. Take time to let yourself be looked at by the Lord.
- Gratitude: Take a few moments to recall one or two things from today for which you are especially grateful. Give thanks to God for these gifts and take time to savor them.
- Review: Review the events of the past day from start to finish, as if you were watching a movie. Notice the ways that God has been present today. Pay attention to your emotions and stirrings within your heart.
- Sorrow: As you have reflected upon your day, you may have noticed a moment from the day in which you have fallen short. Bring this experience to prayer and ask for God’s healing and forgiveness.
- Looking Forward: Look ahead to the next day and ask for God’s help and grace as you move forward with activities, commitments, and interactions with others. When you are ready, conclude your examen with the Our Father.
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