First Reading: From the Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians 1:1-8
1 From Paul, by the will of God an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy
2 to God’s holy people in Colossae, our faithful brothers in Christ. Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
3 We give thanks for you to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, continually in our prayers,
4 ever since we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you show towards all God’s holy people
5 because of the hope which is stored up for you in heaven. News of this hope reached you not long ago through the word of truth, the gospel
6 that came to you in the same way as it is bearing fruit and growing throughout the world. It has had the same effect among you, ever since you heard about the grace of God and recognised it for what it truly is.
7 This you learnt from Epaphras, our very dear fellow-worker and a trustworthy deputy for us as Christ’s servant,
8 and it was he who also told us all about your love in the Spirit.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 52:10, 11
Gospel Reading: From the Gospel Account of Saint Luke 4:38-44
38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in the grip of a high fever and they asked him to do something for her.
39 Standing over her he rebuked the fever and it left her. And she immediately got up and began to serve them.
40 At sunset all those who had friends suffering from diseases of one kind or another brought them to him, and laying his hands on each he cured them.
41 Devils too came out of many people, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God.’ But he warned them and would not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.
42 When daylight came he left the house and made his way to a lonely place. The crowds went to look for him, and when they had caught up with him they wanted to prevent him leaving them,
43 but he answered, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do.’
44 And he continued his proclamation in the synagogues of Judaea.
Theme: He Laid his Hands on Every one and Healed them
Who do you take your troubles to? Jesus’ disciples freely brought their troubles to him because they found him ready and able to deal with any difficulty, affliction, or sickness which they encountered. When Simon Peter brought Jesus to his home for the Sabbath meal (right after Jesus preached in the synagogue in Capernaum), his mother-in-law was instantly healed because Jesus heard Simon’s prayer. Jesus could not avoid drawing a crowd wherever he went.
Jesus wants to set us free today
No one who asked Jesus for help was left disappointed. Jesus’ numerous healings and exorcisms demonstrated the power and authority of his word, the “good news of the kingdom of God.” When he rebuked the fever, it immediately left. When he rebuked the demons, they left as well. Why did the demons shudder at Jesus’ presence? They recognized that he was the Christ, the Son of God and that he had power to destroy their kingdom by releasing those bound by it. Jesus came to set us free from bondage to sin and evil. Do you seek freedom in Christ and trust in his power to set you free?
When Jesus and the disciples sought a lonely place to regroup and rest, they found instead a crowd waiting for them! Did they resent this intrusion on their hard-earned need for privacy and refreshment? Jesus certainly didn’t but welcomed them with open-arms. Jesus put human need ahead of everything else. His compassion showed the depths of God’s love and concern for all who are truly needy. Jesus gave the people the word of God and he healed them physically as well as spiritually.
Jesus never tires of hearing and answering our pleas
We can never intrude upon God nor exhaust his generosity and kindness. He is ever ready to give to those who earnestly seek him out. Do you allow Jesus to be the Lord and Healer in your personal life, family, and community? Approach him with expectant faith. God’s healing power restores us not only to health but to active service and care of others. There is no trouble he does not want to help us with and there is no bondage he can’t set us free from. Do you take your troubles to him with expectant faith that he will help you?
“Lord Jesus Christ, you have all power to heal and to deliver. There is no trouble nor bondage you cannot overcome. Set me free to serve you joyfully and to love and serve others generously. May nothing hinder me from giving myself wholly to you and to your service.”