BY THE HAND: A Reflection from the Christian Traditions Posted February 5, 2021 by admin@interfaith


Notice During the Covid-19 Outbreak
In solidarity, we at the Interfaith Peace Project stand together in these times of heart break and upset. Some of you may have lost friends or family members. Some of you may have lost your job and your income; some may be working overtime to help with the crisis. Some of you may be home and alone and some may be trying to figure out a new way to live. Please let us know how we can help. If you would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call.You may call or email Tom at:
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© Worawut
February 6, 2021
Mark 1:29-39
A Reflection from the Christian Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
The Baptism of Jesus gives us deep insight into his soul (Mark 1: 9-11). He will say or do nothing until he immerses himself into the blood, sweat, and tears of human existence. This approach, however, is not simply his stated philosophy but his way of living everyday life. Self-giving friendship, solidarity, empathy might be the words to describe his willingness to be more than a part of another person’s life. Jesus resisted the temptation to think his outreach should be beneficial to him. Like the wise Masters of the Spiritual Life, Jesus moved in the direction of what benefited others even at his own expense.
Consider Mark 1: 29-31. As soon as Jesus heard about the illness of Simon’s mother-in-law, he ran to her with a sense of urgency. The Gospel simply states, “He took her by the hands.” Actually, the original language is much more dramatic, “He reached out and grasped her hand.” It was as if she was falling over a cliff. Jesus grasped her hand to pull her back into life. The nameless “mother-in-law” is symbolic of all the women whose names are forgotten, whose lives have been ignored, whose persons have been annulled by patriarchy, sexism, and abuse, whose rights and dignity have been compromised by rigid social and religious norms.
The woman responds by serving Jesus and his disciples “at table.” Her service points to the service of Jesus. The nameless woman is the first disciple in this Gospel to do what Jesus will do at the end of his life. She “serves” at the table expressing her gratitude to him in her generosity to others. The word “serve” points to the self-understanding of Jesus who came to serve. (Mark 10: 45).
The miracle at Simon’s house caused a stir in Galilee. The news of Jesus spread everywhere and quickly. His popularity grew to such intensity he fled into the wilderness where “he prayed.” His prayer reveals a crisis. What should he do? His popularity in Capernaum could be of great benefit to himself. Not a few religious leaders have benefited from their gifts and talents. The temptation is great. The disciples, led by Simon, seek him observing, “everybody is looking for you.” Jesus surprises them informing them it is time to move on to the other villages. Jesus resisted the temptation to become popular, powerful, and successful. He knows of the plight of so many. He must go to them. There is a restlessness in his soul which is no less than the stirrings of the Spirit in his heart.    
Sometimes in life, we wonder what our purpose is. Think of all the elderly people who still seek to find their purpose. One rather successful man put it this way when he retired, “Now that I got that out of the way, I can follow my heart.” This retired engineer became a chef. He taught himself how to cook opening a shelter for the houseless and food deprived. He only wants to live long enough to feed the hungry of the World. It is amazing what happens when you do not allow your restless heart to be sedated.
Thank you, Holy Community, for embracing your restlessness and blessing others with your mind, heart, and soul.