Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle B

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Mark 1:29-39

"Everybody is looking for you"

It was the Sabbath day. Jesus came out of the synagogue and spent a quiet day with Simon and family, having just cured Simon's mother-in-law of her fever. Then after sunset, when the Sabbath rest was ended, 'the whole town came out crowding round the door'. It would sound as though they had been waiting all day to get close to him, ready to fetch to him all their own problems and hurts, as well as their sick and disabled neighbours. Many people were cured of sickness and disease and possession by demons.

Jesus wanted them to remain silent about what he had done for them, but word got out and next morning his prayerful solitude was interrupted with the news that “everybody is looking for you”. The crowds had seen his wonderful works and they wanted more. They wanted him to free them from all the problems of life, from all their sufferings, hurts and needs. Here, they thought, is someone with power who can change everything for us; surely, he can change the whole world and remove all the difficulties we face; let's turn to him and hold on to him, the wonder-worker.

But Jesus moved on to preach in other towns 'because that is why I came'. He was not offering a quick-fix solution for an easy life, nor was he announcing a trouble-free world. He had come to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom, to announce even in a still-troubled world that God's Reign is upon us, that despite all our problems the power of God's love is within us. Jesus preaches a vision of God's love that insists first on changing us from within. Then, the more the power of divine love transforms us the more will it, through us, enter into and transform the world around us.