Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection February 05, 2024


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R/. Go up, Lord, to the place of your rest.

V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia

V/. Jesus was proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.

R/. Alleluia

At that time: When Jesus and his disciples had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

1.      In the gospel, Jesus is on an extensive ministry of healing the sick. He is always ready and available. It remains then how one approaches Jesus for this healing. For this, some basic requirements are there.

2.      What is needed is to hear and know about him, to recognize his presence, go near him wherever he is, to place oneself disposed to be touched by him, and thus get healed. We can marvel at the depth of people’s faith in Jesus. They believe that even a touch of him can heal their sickness.

3.      However, all this is not just a matter of sickness and healing. It is more than that. It is a matter of contrast between sin and grace. While the touch of sin brought sickness and misery, the touch of grace, transmitted by the re-creator brings healing, health, and joy.

4.      Sin brings sickness, not necessarily a physical one, but a radical sickness. This disrupts human dignity, beauty, and propensity for good. We need then the power of new creation, to heal us and restore wholeness to us.

5.      In the first account of creation, God brings life from emptiness. In the gospel, we see a new account of a new creation or a “re-creation”. Jesus is the author of this new life. He brings forth health and wholeness through the touch of healing.

6.      This in fact is the real spirit of creation. And we will be faithful to this spirit of creation when we allow God to create in us a new spirit. This new spirit will make a decisive break from sin and strive ever to live a new life of grace. This transition and renewal need the healing touch of the Lord.

7.      St Agatha, virgin and martyr whom we venerate today, stands emblematic of this new life of grace. She was so cruelly persecuted and later killed because she consecrated her virginity to the Lord and did not yield to the sensual advances of her governor of Sicily in Italy.

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