On leaving the synagogue, Jesus went to the home of Simon and Andrew with James and John. As Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with fever, they immediately told him about her. Jesus went to her and, taking her by the hand, raised her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. That evening at sundown, people brought to Jesus all the sick and those who had evil spirits: the whole town was pressing around the door. Jesus healed many who had various diseases, and drove out many demons; but he did not let them speak, for they knew who he was.
Very early in the morning, before daylight, Jesus went off to a lonely place where he prayed. Simon and the others went out also, searching for him; and when they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” Then Jesus answered, “Let us go to the nearby villages so that I may preach there too; for that is why I came.”
So Jesus set out to preach in all the synagogues throughout Galilee; he also cast out demons.
When Jesus heals, two things happen. First, the person entrusts oneself or an ill person to Jesus as did Simon in our Gospel today. Then, there is the spontaneous response of the person healed—gratitude shown through one’s act of hospitality and service. Whenever Jesus heals, he sends the person from some inner condition to the outer world of relationships and service. These two movements are the healing from and the healing for, since any kind of illness is debilitating. The healing Jesus brings frees us from any kind of debilitating condition that tends to limit our capacity for life. Faith and healing are closely linked. Faith opens us up to greater possibilities—to believe in ourselves and in God who is the giver of life. When we allow self-doubt to settle in our hearts, we put limits to our capacities and to what can God do through us. Faith teaches us to believe that we are meant for something more and healing enables us to be and to do something more for God and for others.
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