Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (1: 29-39) in which, Jesus, after spending the previous day healing many, rises early, finds a lonely place and prays.Fr Paul says the snippets we hear of today’s gospel reading give us a sample of Jesus’ life at Capernaum, which is a little fishing village on the edge of the Lake of Galilee; His life was one of healing and of prayer. The first incident, the healing of Simon-Peter’s mother-in-law, reminds us that Jesus does respond if we pray for the needs of those we love. Then we hear a summary of his evening activity which shows his concern to bring healing and wholeness to all those who come to him. Fr Paul say this reminds us to follow his example: we can harm or heal those around us in so many ways. It does not need to be a miracle! It might be a greeting, a look, a smile, a touch that can bring the peace of Christ to someone in desperate need of reassurance. But, the third little story, of Jesus going off to pray in the early morning, shows that the source of all his activity – his union with the God whom he called his Father. We cannot say what Jesus’ prayer was, any more than I can say what your prayer is, but the confident communication between Father and Son must have been the source of his strength and compassion. As Fr Paul notes, today’s Gospel Lesson: Prayer and healing need to part of our lives, too.
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