Reaching Out for Christ!
January 20, 2022 (readings)
- Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
- Fr. Adam Zettel, LC
Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make him known.
Opening Prayer: Lord, you are the only one who can do great things in my life if I only let you, if I only come into contact with you, and touch you through prayer. I believe that some of the greatest things you want to do for me right now are spiritual things—giving me more virtue, more holiness, more of your presence in my life. This is the time that you want and choose to do that work in me. I believe and trust that you have called me here for this time of prayer, that it is not by chance that I am here now, and that you have plans for this time beyond what I could imagine. Help me to be really open to those plans.
They Came from Everywhere: The Gospel today gives us a glimpse into the life of Christ, into his fame, which was spreading everywhere. The people of all these small towns had to come to know Christ little by little, and had only a glimpse of his person and his divinity through the miracles, through “hearing what he was doing,” and through his teaching. The people were drawn out of their homes. They were drawn from far away regions. They went where he went and left things behind in order to be near him. May we discover Christ more deeply, and let his words and actions speak to us and draw us to him as these people were drawn. Is there an interior movement toward Christ that we need to make today, in this moment of prayer?
They Pressed on Him to Touch Him: The miracles of Jesus were effective not only when Jesus stopped, gave someone his attention, and spoke to that person. The fact that people were being healed only by pressing up to Jesus paints a new picture of his goodness: it flows out of him abundantly. We can picture the crowd climbing over each other in a narrow street and frantically trying to touch him. We don’t need an appointment with Jesus or need to get his attention somehow in order to be transformed by him. He is constantly and eternally present to us. How “frantically” are we seeking Christ? Do we have a strong desire and need for contact with him?
Not to Make Him Known: When Jesus cured people of unclean spirits, he commanded the demons not to make him known. Perhaps Jesus was making a distinction between those who would speak of him to others as instruments of the Holy Spirit with hearts full of love, thus affecting the spread of the Kingdom, and those, like demons, who could have no good motive for sharing what Jesus was trying to do. May all of our actions give glory to God, never to ourselves.
Conversing with Christ: Lord, you are a mystery to me! You have healing power that I long for and flows out of you abundantly, that doesn’t hold back. And yet, I can never expect to grasp you totally. I grow in understanding you little by little. Help me to increase my longing and thirst for you. I want to be close to you.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will seek a moment to pause and reach out for contact with you.
For Further Reflection: Compare with Mark 5:24-34, the woman with the hemorrhage.
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