Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them. Mark 1:29-31
It’s flu season. It’s not hard to connect with Simon’s mother-in-law in this passage. Probably in the last month you’ve felt the chills, the total exhaustion, the despair of wondering if you’ll ever climb out of this. You know what she’s feeling. And then Jesus reaches out his hand and picks her up. What a beautiful image of the healing and restoration God brings to our life!
He’s freed us from our sins, saved us from our despair, led us into a new life of hope and joy and peace, given us freedom to live out our calling to build the kingdom of God. What a gift! And Simon’s mother-in-law provides the perfect example of what our response should be after receiving the healing of Jesus Christ.
The fever left her and she waited on them.
As Christians, I think we often forget what life was like or could have been like without Jesus, a life given over to worldly desires, selfishness, anger, sin, guilt, despair. But Jesus approached us, grasped our hands, and helped us up! And like Simon’s mother-in-law, our proper response to Jesus’ healing in our life is to serve Him. For us, musicians, we serve him with the gift of our instruments (including our voices). Let us not forget that each Sunday we offer him the gift of our service. Imagine having the ability to make Jesus a meal, but not really wanting to take too much time in preparation, so you just whip up some macaroni and cheese or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Not a chance! We would spend our entire day in preparation to serve Jesus the most extravagant meal we have in our repertoire. Why would we not do the same with the gift of our music? If we need a reminder to spend more time in preparation to serve Jesus with the best we have to offer, this Scripture passage is our reminder.
As we contemplate service being the natural response to Jesus’ healing this week, may we remind ourselves to spend a few extra minutes practicing that song on the website, may we take the few minutes before Mass begins to spend some time in quiet prayer, offering God the gift that we are about to give Him, may we set aside Wednesday nights to come before God and serve Him with our gift, may we give Him all we have.