No Rest for the Good…
Today’s Gospel has a very unique “mother-n-law” story. Peter was worried about his mother-in-law, at home, bedridden with a serious fever. Jesus is told of her condition, and He meets her, takes her by the hand and helps her from her bed – she’s healed! And…surprisingly… she begins to wait on Jesus and His disciples who were hungry (perhaps road-worn?) young adults. No rest for her! Like Jesus, she was generous in “waiting on them”.
The Gospel continues with Jesus again being called upon to heal the crowds that came to the door…people who were physically ill — even possessed by demons. And He healed them! No rest for Him! Rising early the next day, Jesus “needs” to get away and pray, perhaps to further ponder the physical and human suffering He constantly encountered for healing. Again, “no rest for the good”; Simon looks for Jesus and tells Him that even more people are searching for Him and His healing love. Jesus responds by saying He needs to move on and preach in the nearby villages…His mission, His purpose. No rest for the good!
Saint Paul in his 1st letter to the Corinthians notes that his missionary work comes from his stewardship of God’s love shared with him. A sense of duty compels him to generously proclaim the Good News of Jesus; “woe to me if I do not preach it!” …”to save at least some.” No rest for the good!
Our Question: As believers, how do we reflect the generous spirit of Jesus? How do we spread the Good News in our time and place? By virtue of our Baptism, we each have a vocation / calling (married, single, priestly / religious); our vocation is given further expression in the talents and direction of our lives (e.g. spouse, parent, teacher, manager, professional person, clergy, health care worker, etc.). How do we witness God’s Love, Life, Joy in our 21st Century world of violence and fear, of poverty and loneliness, of mistrust and selfishness? The needs are great; healing is needed; our resources can seem limited; and often…no rest for the good! Today we hear Jesus say: “let’s go!”
Let’s be grateful for our faith — however vibrant it is. Following Jesus’ example and serving in His Name, God’s healing and exciting Love and Life can transform all of creation. May it be said of us, as is said of Jesus: No rest for the good!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. serves as the Province Vocation Director and also as Local Superior of the Passionist Community of Holy Name in Houston, Texas.