So, in the tradition of teachers in my family (and the fact that it’s a Friday), I have a pop quiz for you. What word would you use to describe the gospel readings from Tuesday till today? If you answered “healing,” then we’d be on the same wavelength. It’s been said that if you want to make a point, you need to use ample evidence, and if you want it to be remembered, then you need to have repetition.
William Hutton, an English Poet and Historian says, “The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds ceases to be charity and is only pride and ostentation.” Jesus healed and cleansed the leper, saying to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone” (Mark 1:43). But the Leper could not withhold his excitement. Why would Jesus tell him to say nothing about the miracle? Was he afraid of appearing to be proud? Was he afraid too many people would be coming to him?
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Yesterday was a first for me; a doctor, a podiatrist, made a house call to see my Mom. After the doctor left and I read and reflected on today’s gospel, I had a deeper understanding of Jesus, the Divine Physician’s house call to see Simon’s mother-in-law.
As we enter this First Week of Ordinary Time, we are given the image of Jesus teaching in the synagogue. And as He teaches, it's clear that there is something special about Him. He teaches with a new authority.
Today, we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, and in chapels around the world, we also give thanks to God for the birth of Venerable Patrick Peyton. (Founder of Holy Cross Family Ministries, a Holy Cross priest who touched countless families and souls around the world.) In today’s gospel, we hear those famous words from God the Father, “This is my beloved Son; with whom I am well pleased.” Every time we hear or read those words, it’s a chance to ask ourselves, “am I listening to Jesus?”
If there is one thing on which I am very emphatic in the way that I raise my children in the faith, it is that Christmas is not a single day — it is a full SEASON, and it continues until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Well, of course, I emphasize many other things as well, but this one I make sure to drive home.