“Indeed, he talked so much that Jesus could not go into a town publicly. Instead, he stayed out in lonely places, and people came to him from everywhere.” (Mk 1:45)
Today’s Passages: Mk 1:40-45; Heb 3:7-14
Meditation: The other day we saw that Jesus went out to a lonely place and prayed to the heavenly Father. Today’s meditation verse gives us another picture of Jesus. Here the evangelist says that he stayed out in lonely places so that people may not easily recognize and follow him. We know the background of this verse, after got healed, the cured man went out to the town and made known to the public what Jesus had done to him. Hearing this good news, people from everywhere were searching for him.
Why did Jesus, who had asked people to follow him, now go away or hiding himself from the people? If miracles are signs of the manifestation of God’s glory and people come to believe in God after seeing the miracles Jesus performed, ‘why did Jesus keep himself away from the people?’ becomes today’s our focus of reflection. This also may appear to be very strange in today’s world where we find these externals remains the main focus of attraction.
However, we know that this is not “the attraction” about which Pope Francis speaks about in the “Joy of the Gospel.” There quoting Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI he says, “It is not by proselytizing that the Church grows, but ‘by attraction.’” (EG 15) This “attraction” is but only through witness of my life in and through Jesus. Jesus did miracles only to reveal God the father and his glory not to attract people to him. We are given many a talent in our lives. How do we make use of them? What purpose do we make use of them for?
There were temptations in the life of Jesus too, to do miracles for this worldly attraction. However, Jesus did never succumb to them rather he responded saying, “Go away, Satan!” or “Get behind me Satan!” We find an answer to those who surrender to this temptation in the second reading. The word of the Lord says, “I was angry and made a solemn promise; ‘They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest.” (Heb 3:11) or “Then I will say to them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people.” (Mt 7:23)
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord, everyday, we pray the prayer you taught us without fail, still when the Satan comes through his new tactics we forget even to keep away from those human appreciations or approvals. Teach us the meaning of your word, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me.” (Jn 12:19) We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Greetings: God is with you! Have a blissful Thursday!