Love beyond measure – Wednesday, 1st Week in ordinary time – Mk 1:29-39

Love beyond measure – Wednesday, 1st Week in ordinary time – Mk 1:29-39

This eventful Sabbath day saw many miracles beginning with the exorcism of the man in the synagogue who was possessed. Jesus is now in Simon Peter’s house and his mother-in-law is sick with a fever. Make no mistake, fevers at the time of Jesus could not be wished away with a paracetamol. These fevers could often end in death.

Before we move to the miracle and its consequences, a certain contrast and comparison needs to be drawn between the two miracles. The point of contrast and comparison is to highlight the diversity of Jesus’ ministry.

The first miracle was performed for a man; now it is a woman. The first miracle was in a public space; now, in the confines of a home. The first miracle had Jesus only use words and no action; now Jesus takes her by the hand, while He says not a word. The first miracle does not mention the actions of the man after he was healed; Simon’s mother-in-law on the other hand begins to ‘serve them’.

So let’s look at this unnamed woman who we merely know as Simon’s mother-in-law. She has been ‘raised’ and her first instinct is to serve. The response of most people to an act of kindness would be to show kindness back to the person who helped them. No one would have faulted Simon’s mother-in-law if she served only Jesus; after all He worked the miracle for her. But the Gospel tells us that she ‘served them.’

Simon’s mother-in-law did not just stop there. We are told that by sunset, the ‘whole city had gathered around the door’. You can imagine a city of 1,500 residents, all clamouring at her door. This must have been one busy woman that day. Yet even after all her service, the Gospel does not even mention her name!

In Simon’s mother-in-law,we see what service really means; it is nameless and boundless. The Lord has saved and raised many of us from illness and perhaps much more, yet our response has not always been as magnanimous as Peter’s mother-in-law. Most people simply return a kind act done to them in the same measure. Simon’s mother-in-law knew no measure.

Fr Warner D’Souza

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One thought on “Love beyond measure – Wednesday, 1st Week in ordinary time – Mk 1:29-39”

  • Service, defined perfectly in this reflection of yours father. Loved the way you have focused on Peter’s Mother in law… The description brings so many faces to my mind who work and serve boundlessly without being recognised. Let that be a prayer today, that we may serve, not to be recognised, but serve for the sake of building lives. ☺️

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