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January 16, 2019: Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Reading Hebrews 2:14-18
Gospel Mark 1:29-39

Rising very early before dawn, He left and went off to a deserted place, where He prayed.

In the light of Simon’s pursuit of Jesus and his informing Jesus that “everyone” is looking for Him, two actions of Jesus stand out. Both actions show the falsity of Simon’s claim.

The fact that this passage begins with the cure of Simon’s mother-in-law gives us a glimpse into Simon’s way of thinking. As more persons are cured, and as word spreads, Simon is convinced that “everyone” is looking for Jesus.

But “rising very early before dawn,” Jesus prayed in a deserted place. In that “desert” He entered into communion with His Father. To Jesus, His Father is primary in an ultimate manner. His Father comes before the crowds that Simon calls “everyone”.

When Simon makes his claim to Jesus, He responds by explaining the need to “go on to the nearby villages”. Simon is parochial in his thinking, while Jesus wants no one excluded. At this point in His public ministry, Jesus is preaching and healing “throughout the whole of Galilee.” As those three years continue, the effects of His ministry spread out in waves. Ultimately, His ministry culminates in His self-sacrifice on Calvary, which He makes for all mankind throughout all of human history. This is the “everyone” whom Jesus was sent by His Father to serve.