Message for Epiphany V, Sunday, February 4, 2024

Reflection on the Gospel reading for today: Mark 1:29-39

In the first part of the gospel reading this morning, people bring Jesus to Simon Peter’s mother-in-law who was in bed with a fever, in Capernaum. In the second part of the gospel, people bring all who were sick in Capernaum to Jesus. In both cases, people mediated between Jesus and those who needed him. We can see in that an image of our own calling to bring Jesus to others and to bring others to Jesus.

The Lord looks to all of us to mediate between himself and others. If the Lord is to get his work done, he needs all of us. In the third part of the gospel reading, Jesus’ disciples try to bring Jesus back to Capernaum. ‘Everyone is looking for you’, they said. Yet, on this occasion, Jesus refused to go with them, because he had other places to visit, ‘Let us go elsewhere’, he said. Yes, people could bring Jesus to others and bring others to Jesus, but they were not in control of him. Jesus was subject only to his heavenly Father, and his disciples had to learn to submit to him, to go after him, rather than insisting that he go after them.

The Lord continues to need people to mediate between him and others. Every day we will be given opportunities to do just that.

That too is an important part of our calling. We need to yield to what the Lord wants to do and is doing; we are not in control or in charge of the Lord’s work. Rather we try to allow the Lord to do his work in and through us. It remains his work rather than ours. It is above all in prayer that we attend to the Lord’s work.