The following reflection is taken from Loyola Press, A Jesuit Ministry which is good for our reflection this week.
“Today we continue to read from Mark’s Gospel, learning more about the ministry of Jesus. Jesus cured Simon’s mother-in-law, and she immediately began to serve Jesus and his disciples. Jesus also cured many others who were brought to him, healing their illnesses and driving out demons. As we will see throughout Mark’s Gospel, Jesus did not permit the demons to speak because they knew his identity and would have revealed it to those who were present.
On the morning after this busy day, Jesus retreated in prayer, but was pursued by Simon and others who brought news that many people were looking for him. At this point in Mark’s Gospel, we begin to see a distinct role for the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples—they act as intermediaries between Jesus and the people. Jesus reports to his disciples that they need to leave Capernaum to preach in other places.
Today’s Gospel completes a picture of Jesus’ ministry: preaching, curing the sick, driving out demons, and then moving on to continue this work in another place. Mark’s Gospel tells us that Jesus did this throughout Galilee.
Jesus’ compassion and healing of the sick is a sign of the Kingdom of God. The Church continues to extend Christ’s healing presence to others in its ministry to the sick. In the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, the Church prays for spiritual and physical healing, forgiveness of sins, and comfort for those who are suffering from illness.
In today’s Gospel we also notice the importance of prayer in Jesus’ daily life. Jesus rose early in the morning, removed himself from the crowds, and went to a deserted place to pray. When the disciples found him, he told them that it was time to move on. We believe that in his prayers Jesus found guidance and direction from God. We also bring our decision-making to God in prayer, asking for his guidance and direction in our lives”.
Next Family Group Meeting – Friday 9 Feb at Raleigh Park | BYO food, drink & chairs | All welcome | Group Leader Martin O’Loughlin – 9662 8559.
The Catholic Church in Australia is vowing to tackle the scourge of modern slavery and human trafficking, as it prepares to celebrate the feast day of one-time slave, St Josephine Bakhita, on 8 February. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Australian Catholic Religious Against the Trafficking of Humans (ACRATH) are encouraging parishes to mark the saint’s feast day.
“St Josephine Bakhita’s feast day is an opportunity to raise awareness about human trafficking,” said Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ, chairman of the Bishops Conference for Justice, Ecology and Development.
“Pope Francis has called us to make a difference. Our steps may be small, but together we can achieve a great deal, especially when we work with others to stop human trafficking.”
ACBC has endorsed the Statement of Support for an Australian Modern Slavery Act, prepared by the Human Rights Commission Roundtable earlier in 2017.
There are more than 500 different human trafficking routes across many parts of the world, according to a 2016 United Nations report. It is estimated that millions of women, girls, men and boys are trafficked annually into domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, pornography, forced marriage and forced labour. Almost 80 per cent of detected victims of trafficking are women and girls.
St Josephine Bakhita, the patron saint for victims of slavery, was born in the west Sudanese region of Darfur in 1869. As a young girl, she was kidnapped and forced into slavery in both Sudan and Italy. Following her delivery from slavery, Josephine became a Canossian Sister and dedicated her life to sharing her story and to supporting the poor and suffering. She died on 8 February 1947 and was canonised in 2000.
Wed. 7th March 2018. 7.30 – 9pm at the PADDINGTON RSL CLUB 220-232 Oxford St, Paddington, opposite the Town Hall. Topic (and year’s theme): “Wisdom seekers”. Speakers: Mons Tony Doherty, recently retired Parish Priest from Rose Bay/Dover Heights & Ailsa Piper author, theatre director and actress. Donation entry. Info Marea: 0414 873 910.