Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (4: 38-44) in which Jesus heals many and people come looking for him.

Fr Paul says in today’s Gospel there is a greater sense of authority and a wider range than in the versions of the healings given by the other Gospel writers.

Here, Jesus does not raise Simon’s mother-in-law by the hand; he simply leans over her and rebukes the fever and ‘immediately’, which is not the case in the other Gospels, immediately she stands up and gets to work.

Then in the next scene he heals ‘every single one of them’, and the demons are so disturbed by the presence of Jesus that a sort of pandemonium breaks out among them as they rush around shouting that Jesus is son of God. But again, Jesus settles everything down with a simple rebuke.

Next morning it is not simply Simon and his group who come out to the lonely place but again all the crowds. Luke is more forceful than the other Gospel writers as he tells us that the crowd tried to restrain Jesus. They tried to prevent him moving on. Yet, despite these attempts by the crowd, Jesus does move on to continue his mission around Judea.

For our reflection today, Fr Paul invites us to again think about, the air of command and authority around Jesus.