Homily September 6th, 2023

Wednesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time – Lk 4:38-44

There are two points that are worth meditating on in today’s Gospel: the fever, and the reaction of the crowds.

First, Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law from a fever. Note that it’s not just any kind of fever: Luke, the physician, is very precisely in his language, and he tells us that it’s a serious one; probably she was in danger of death. Yet, at the intercession of those who loved her, Jesus “rebukes” the fever: the Greek word means, properly, to “assign value as is fitting the situation, building on the situation to correct.”[1] Jesus sees the fever, and, since His judgments are definitive, assigns it no value. It simply disappears, and goes away. Notice, as Saint John Chrysostom points out, how her healing was instant; usually with physical illnesses, especially severe ones, we need time to recover. Simon’s mother-in-law was healed so quickly that she got up right away and got to work. Such is Christ’s power, and we see that she understood her miracle wasn’t simply for her to enjoy, but rather to enable her to serve Christ and His kingdom.

Second, notice that, after all those miracles, the crowds tried to hold Jesus back. They didn’t want Him to leave, such were His good deeds and power.

We have access to that same power every time we pray. Jesus wants to help us, He wants to strengthen us, and He even wants to stay with us throughout the day. He stays with us in the Eucharist. Is our attitude like the crowds that heard Him? Do we beg Him, “Stay with us, Lord?” Or do we let Him go, chasing after every little thing, every little distraction that comes our way?

Through the intercession of Mary, our Mother, let us ask for the grace to remain with Jesus, to trust in His power and intercede for those around us, just as Mary did.


[1] Strong’s Concordance, 2008.

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