August 31, 2022 –
Wednesday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time
At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place.
Today’s Gospel passage, as it’s divided in modern editions of the Bible, consists of three paragraphs. As we reflect on the passage, we see a movement like the ripples in a pond. Jesus in His desire to serve moves outwards towards more and more people: from healing Simon’s mother-in-law, to healing those in the area “with various diseases”, to his departure for ministry in “the other towns”.
As such, we can reflect on this passage as an illustration of the “catholicity” of Jesus’ mission on earth, and so also the catholicity of His Church’s mission. In that latter regard, we ought to reflect on ourselves—each of us—as one member of that Christ who acts in today’s Gospel passage.
Each of us rightly gives thanks and praise to Jesus for being our “personal Lord and Savior”. But such a confession of faith should never move us to think that our Christian Faith is simply about “me and Jesus”. Jesus is the Lord and Savior—or at least, wishes to be—of every human person who ever has, does now, or ever will live. In turn, the salvation that Jesus offers me ought to root itself in my service to others, to bring that about.
Each of us at times might enjoy the prayerful solitude that Jesus entered in a deserted place at daybreak. Perhaps we would prefer that solitude. For most, though, the solitude serves our active roles within the mission of the Church.