Gospel for Thursday

January 21, 2021

Thursday of the Second week in Ordinary Time

 

All Pressed upon Jesus to Touch Him

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to

Saint Mark 3,7-12.

Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea.
Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon.
He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him.
He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him.
And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.”
He warned them sternly not to make him known.

 

Introductory Prayer:

Lord, this time of prayer should be everything for me: the moment that I long for, the food that sustains me, the comfort that strengthens me. I know that you are at work in me even when I don’t feel you and don’t even seem able to perceive your presence. I want to pray fervently and from the heart, not just with my mind.

 

Meditation:

Is there anything holding you back from giving yourself to God without fear or reservation? Jesus offered freedom to everyone who sought him out. Wherever Jesus went the people came to him because they had heard about all the wonderful deeds and miracles which he performed. They were hungry for God and desired healing from their afflictions. In faith they pressed upon Jesus to touch him. As they did so power came from Jesus and they were healed. Do you seek to lay hold of Jesus’ presence in your life that he may touch and heal you?

“It is by faith that we touch Jesus. And far better to touch him by faith than to touch or handle him with the hands only and not by faith. It was no great thing to merely touch him manually. Even his oppressors doubtless touched him when they apprehended him, bound him, and crucified him, but by their ill-motivated touch they lost precisely what they were laying hold of. O worldwide church! It is by touching him faithfully that your ‘faith has made you whole’ (Isaiah 1:10-18; Matthew 9:22; Mark 5:34; Mark 10:52; Luke 8:48; John 20:29).”
Why did Jesus perform so many countless miracles and signs during his earthly ministry? Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD) wrote that these signs and miracles showed that Jesus was truly God – the eternal Word who was made flesh for our salvation:

[Jesus] performed very many wonderful miracles, rebuking demons, delivering from incurable diseases whoever drew near to him, and displaying his own most divine power. He did these works so that both the Jews, who had run together to him, and those from the country of the Greeks might know that Christ was not some ordinary man of those in our degree but, on the contrary, God. He honored these chosen disciples with the dignity of the apostolate. He was the Word that was made man but retained nevertheless his own glory. “For power went forth from him and healed all.” Christ did not borrow strength from some other person, but being himself God by nature, even though he had become flesh, he healed them all, by the demonstration of power over the sick.

Why did the demons tremble in the presence of Jesus (Mark 3:11)? They recognized that his power and authority came from heaven and not from earth. But while they confessed Christ and trembled in his presence, they did not respond in love.

When you read God’s word and consider all that Jesus said and did, how do you respond? With indifference, hesitation, or skepticism, or with expectant faith, love, and willing obedience? Ask the Lord Jesus to draw you to himself with increasing faith, fervent love, and eager readiness to do his will.

 

Petition:

Lord, help me to touch you in this moment of prayer. Help me to touch you in the Eucharist so that your presence will transform me.

 

  1. Was Jesus Afraid? In yesterday’s Gospel text, Jesus silenced the Pharisees in the synagogue. So incensed were they against the Lord that they began to plot with the Herodians to kill him. Now Jesus has retreated from the synagogues to the lakeshore and the open fields. Was Christ afraid? Was he running from his enemies? Hardly. The Lord was simply aware that his hour had not yet come. When it does approach, he will embrace it by marching resolutely to Jerusalem and his passion and death. The ones who really are afraid are the demons. They recognize that God is manifesting his power through Christ, and they tremble before him. The Son of God has come to win back what Satan’s lies have stolen. Does Christ’s power accompanying me in my life give me the courage I need to confront any situation as his witness?

 

  1. To Touch the Lord: In this vivid Gospel scene, the crowds of stricken humanity clamor around Jesus. Jews and gentiles journey from the far away regions of Idumea to the south, and Tyre and Sidon to the north, to catch a glimpse of the Master, to hear him speak words that no one has ever spoken before—to touch him and be healed of their infirmities. Oh, that we too had lived during the time of Christ in order to touch him and be cured of our sadness and selfishness, our heartache and egotism, our loneliness and lies, and even our physical ailments! Did Christ love those people who surrounded him by the lakeshore more than he loves us? No. He enables us to touch him more easily than they—every time we receive him in the Eucharist. Then why are we not yet healed? The disciples once cried out to Jesus, “Increase our faith!” And he replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed…”

 

  1. The Person of Christ: Irresistible: How can we grow in our faith in Christ? How can we, too, experience the irresistible attraction of his person like the crowds in Mark’s Gospel did? Nothing fills our life as much as contemplating the figure of Christ and perceiving the irresistible power of attraction he exercises through the centuries. Draw close to him, and in the depths of your souls contemplate him in all of the beauty of his human and divine stature. Along with the Eucharist, it is through prayer that we can come to touch Christ. Prayer is the most solemn moment for confessing our love; it is the raison d’être of our life, the ideal of our apostolate, the nourishment of our whole existence.

 

Conversation with Christ:

Thank you, Lord, for letting me catch a glimpse of who you are through this meditation. Help me to respond to the attraction of your person with my whole life and to hold nothing back from you.

 

Resolution:

I will visit Christ in the Eucharist or make a spiritual communion to thank him for his love and to contemplate him in the beauty of his divine and human stature.

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Inflame my heart with a burning love for you and with an expectant faith in your saving power. Set me free from all that hinders me from drawing closer to you.

Evangelio del jueves

21 de enero, 2021

Jueves de la segunda semana del Tiempo Ordinario

 

Predicación y curación de enfermos

Del Santo Evangelio según

San Marcos 3,7-12.

Jesús se retiró con sus discípulos a la orilla del mar, y lo siguió mucha gente de Galilea.
Al enterarse de lo que hacía, también fue a su encuentro una gran multitud de Judea, de Jerusalén, de Idumea, de la Transjordania y de la región de Tiro y Sidón.
Entonces mandó a sus discípulos que le prepararan una barca, para que la muchedumbre no lo apretujara.
Porque, como curaba a muchos, todos los que padecían algún mal se arrojaban sobre él para tocarlo.
Y los espíritus impuros, apenas lo veían, se tiraban a sus pies, gritando: “¡Tú eres el Hijo de Dios!”.
Pero Jesús les ordenaba terminantemente que no lo pusieran de manifiesto.

Palabra del Señor

 

Oración introductoria
Señor Jesús, yo también te estoy buscando, quiero tener un momento de intimidad en la oración. Quiero dejarme conquistar por tu amor, dame la luz para saber reconocer lo que me puede apartar de que tu gracia.

Petición
Para ser digno de tu amor, ven Espíritu Santo y haz tu morada en mí.

Meditación del Papa Francisco

La multitud que acude a Jesús desde cualquier región. Encuentra en el Señor una esperanza, porque su forma de actuar, de enseñar, toca su corazón, llega al corazón, porque tiene la fuerza de la Palabra de Dios.

El pueblo siente esto y ve que en Jesús se cumplen las promesas, que en Jesús hay una esperanza. El pueblo estaba un poco aburrido de la forma de enseñar la fe, de los doctores de la ley de aquella época, que cargaban sobre la espalda muchos mandamientos, muchos preceptos, pero no llegaban al corazón de la gente. Pero, cuando ven a Jesús y escuchan a Jesús, las propuestas de Jesús, las bienaventuranzas… pues escuchan dentro algo que se mueve, es el Espíritu Santo que despierta eso, y van a encontrar a Jesús.

La multitud seguía a Jesús para ser sanada, es decir, buscando el propio bien. Por eso nunca podemos seguir a Dios con pureza de intención desde el inicio, siempre un poco para nosotros, un poco para Dios… Y el camino es purificar esta intención.

¡Jesús salva! Estas sanaciones, estas palabras que llegan al corazón son el signo y el inicio de una salvación. El recorrido de la salvación de muchos que comienzan a ir a escuchar a Jesús o a pedir una sanación y después vuelven a Él y sienten la salvación. ¿Pero lo más importante de Jesús es que sane? No, no es lo más importante. ¿Qué nos enseña? No es lo más importante. ¡Que salva! Él es el Salvador y nosotros somos salvados por Él. Y esto es más importante. Y ésta es la fuerza de nuestra fe.

La cura de Jesús coincide con el levantar a la persona y enviar a aquel o a aquella a quien se ha acercado y curado. Son tantos los enfermos que, después de haber sido curados por Cristo, se convierten en sus discípulos y seguidores. Jesús se acerca, pues, se preocupa, sana, reconcilia, llama y envía: cómo podemos ver, la relación con las personas oprimidas por la enfermedad y el dolor es para él una relación rica y personal, no mecánica, no a distancia.   (SS Francisco)

 

Reflexión
Tanta era la atracción de Cristo en vida que en la playa no había lugar para él. Sube a una barca para poder enseñarles a todos las cosas del Reino.

Cristo desea subir a una barca. Allí hay muchísimas, pero Él sólo subirá a una. Es la primera vez que Cristo hace una cosa semejante. Él quiere hablarle a la gente, pero se encuentra impedido por el poco espacio. Él te pide permiso para subir a la barca de tu vida y desde allí llamar a todos a la felicidad.

Él puede cambiar tu vida, como lo hizo con sus apóstoles. Eran rudos pescadores, y terminaron dando su vida por la extensión del Reino. Ahora te toca a ti. Dios te quiere subir a su barca para cambiar tu vida y la de los hombres que escuchen su voz a través del medio que eres tú. No te preocupes si no te sientes apto para ser instrumento de Dios, Él hará todo si tú le das tu sí. Y ya verás cómo serás feliz haciendo felices a los demás.

Propósito
Visitar, lo más pronto posible, a un amigo o familiar enfermo, buscando acercarle a Cristo.

Diálogo con Cristo
Cristo, Tú ha sido, eres y serás siempre la respuesta definitiva a los más profundos anhelos y aspiraciones de felicidad, porque sólo Tú tienes palabras de vida eterna, sólo Tú eres el Camino, la Verdad y la Vida. Si realmente te conociera mi vida sería diferente, para bien. Por eso te pido hoy, Jesús, que no salga de esta oración sin ser profundamente tocado por Ti, porque sólo si te llevo dentro, podré arrastrar a otros hacia Ti.

 

Despedida:

Te damos gracias, Señor, por todos tus beneficios, a Ti que vives y reinas por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén.
¡Cristo, Rey nuestro!
¡Venga tu Reino!
Virgen prudentísima, María, Madre de la Iglesia.
Ruega por nosotros.
En el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo.
Amén.