January 22, 2015

Gospel MK 3:7-12
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.
We have heard these gospel stories so many times that we can easily develop a “ho-hum” attitude toward them. We can easily see them as just another Jesus miracle story.
To keep that from happening, I have to put myself into the actual situation.
Can we even begin to imagine the scene? The word had spread far and wide that this man, Jesus, had the ability to heal people of their diseases. Thousands converged from all over the area.
The excitement bordered on pandemonium. People, who were no longer willing to risk having Jesus pass them by, were now mobbing him just to touch his robe. In danger of being crushed by the crowd, he told his friends to get a boat ready to rescue him.
It sounds like a “Blue Light Special” at Macy’s on Black Friday. We all know that any time people can get a good deal, there is going to be a massive crowd.
So what exactly was Jesus up to? What was the point of his ability to heal that resulted in this excited, out of control mob?
Jesus knew the human heart: people’s reluctance to depart from traditional beliefs.
He performed miraculous works including the feeding of the five thousand, the cleansing of the leper, the healing of the lame, and restoring sight to the blind for two reasons. First, out of compassion for those suffering, and second, in order that the people might believe that what he “preached”was in fact a message from God.
In the Gospel of John 14:11, Jesus told His apostles, “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.
” Today, My Brother’s Keeper exclaims our mission: “To bring the love and hope of Jesus Christ to those we serve.”
People do not believe in our mission because of our words. They believe in our mission because of the thousands of people to whom we have provided furniture, along with a crucifix and the message: “This is the man who sent you the furniture.”