Recognizing Jesus

Mark 6: 53-56
Gn 1:1-19 / Ps 104

As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized Jesus.
(Mark 6:54)

For our life we thank You, Jesus,
And pledge to make others aware
That Your healing that has freed us
Comes from a faith that we must share.

When Jesus and His apostles had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got off the boat, the people immediately recognized Jesus. And they ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their mats to wherever they heard He was. And wherever He came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored Him that they might touch even the edge of His cloak. And as many as touched it were healed of their disease. (Mark 6:53-56)

Reflection

After Jesus was rejected by His town mates in Nazareth, (6:1-6) He went around to other villages preaching. Then He sent His apostles in pairs farther out to different places, giving them power to heal the sick and drive out evil spirits in His name. Upon their return, His fame in healing and great wisdom had grown so fast that thousands of people were now seeking Him out (6:34). In a deserted place where they went by boat to find rest, more than five thousand people followed and arrived before them. In His mercy, Jesus had to perform another great miracle, satisfying their hunger from five loaves and two fish. Sailing off again to the other side of the lake, Jesus found that His fame had preceded Him, and wherever He went, people recognized Him, and brought their sick out to where He was in order to be healed.

Our Lord dispensed with His power to heal, work miracles and preach the Good News not only because of His great mercy and compassion for the sick and the needy, but also for the benefit of His apostles. As His closest witnesses, their faith in God would be fully formed by the time He left them to continue the work He had begun. They had seen and heard the Master speak about the power of having faith in order to heal and be healed; they themselves had exercised that power. But along with this privilege came the mandate of proclaiming the Gospel.

Do most people we meet recognize Jesus in us? Do they experience a better sense of well-being, a renewal of the spirit, or some kind of healing in our company? After we have been renewed, do we feel the urge to share with others what we have learned from the Spirit and Holy Scriptures? Do we make others feel better about their lives and their relationship with God? When Aileen gave the invocation before yesterday’s Red Cross “Million Volunteers Run”, that was probably how most of the three thousand plus participants felt that beautiful Sunday morning, especially when she acknowledged the blessings of good health, fellowship, peace and love that only a loving Father can give to His children. It is, after all, God’s unconditional gifts of love, faith, and so many graces that draw us, His children to Himself and to one another, and lead to the healing of all our brokenness. St. Mark’s Gospel related how Jesus never tired of doing good for others because He considered everyone worthy of God’s love. And so must we if we want others to see Jesus in us.

Lord Jesus, we thank You for the lessons of love and service that you have taught us in today’s Gospel, that in every opportunity, if it is within our power to perform, we must always give of ourselves to those who are in need. Help us to follow Your example, so that recognizing You in our service, the Father may be glorified. Amen.

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