Jesus and His disciples withdrew to the lakeside and a large crowd from Galilee followed Him. A great number of people also came from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, Transjordan and from the region of Tyre and Sidon, for they had heard of all that He was doing. Because of the crowd, Jesus told His disciples to have a boat ready for Him, to prevent the people from crushing Him. He healed so many that all who had diseases kept pressing towards Him to touch Him. Even the people who had evil spirits, whenever they saw Him, would fall down before Him and cry out, «You are the Son of God». But He warned them sternly not to tell anyone who he was.
Jesus withdrew. This withdrawal is not a failure. This divine withdrawal is an invitation for us to establish a personal relationship with God, than be a member in a crowded assembly.
People coming to Jesus: is a model for our imitation. Its important for each and every one of us to get closer with God. Somewhere, He is waiting for us, waiting to liberate us, to heal us. It’s not enough to go towards God, but allow God to work in us. We should learn to surrender everything before God. Give God sufficient time to reveal to us and speak to us.
Even the evil spirit: God has power over everything. We don’t need to have fear, particularly unnecessary fear of Saul in the first reading. Unjustified fear will never produce good fruit. Evil spirit wishes to cultivate in us this fear, and deprive us of genuine love and divine mercy.
“You are the Son of God” Knowing God won’t guaranty us salvation. Even devil knows God. It’s important to love God.
Action of the day: Surrender before God.
«A great number of people also came from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, Transjordan and from the region of Tyre and Sidon»
Fr. Melcior QUEROL i Solà
(Ribes de Freser, Girona, Spain)
Today, the baptism by John in the Jordan still recent, we should all remember the kind of conversion of our baptism. We have all been baptized into one Lord, into one only faith, «For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body» (1Co 12:13). Here we have the ideal of unity: to form a single body, to be a single unity in Christ, so that the world may believe.
In today's Gospel we see that «A large crowd from Galilee followed him» and also «a great number of people» coming from other places (cf. Mk 3:7-8) are surrounding the Lord. And He paid heed to all procuring, without exception, their good. We have to keep this in mind during the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Let us realize how, throughout centuries, we Christians have divided ourselves into Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans and a long etc. of Christian confessions. A historic sin against one of the essential points of our Church: its unity.
But, let us face today's eclesial reality. Our bishopric's, our parish's, our Christian group's. Are we really one only thing? Is our type of unity really a motive for conversion of those away from the Church? «that all of them may be one, … so that the world may believe» (Jn 17:21), pleaded Jesus to the Father. This is our challenge. That pagans all over may see a group of believers relate one another, gathering by the Holy Spirit, under the Church of Christ: all the believers were one in heart and mind. (cf. Acts 4:32-34).
Let us remember that, as a fruit of the Eucharist, the unity of the Assembly is to manifest itself along with the union with Jesus of each one of us, as we are fed by the same Bread to be a one and only body. Therefore, what the sacraments stand for, and the grace therein instilled, demand from us gestures of communion towards all others. Our conversion is to the Trinity unit (which is a gift coming from Heaven) and our sanctified task cannot avert the gestures of communion, of understanding, of welcome and forgiveness towards our brothers.