The Cure of Simon’s Mother-in-law
The book of Sirach says: “My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you,” (38:9).
In today’s gospel, Jesus cures Peter’s mother-in-law. This shows that the disciples of Jesus freely bring their troubles to Him because they find Him ready and able to deal with any difficulty, affliction or sickness which they encounter. That is why Simon Peter brings Jesus to his home and his mother-in-law was instantly healed because Jesus hears his prayer.
St. Jerome, a 3rd century Church father says that Jesus is already here offering Himself to us; He stands in our midst but we do not recognize Him (Jn. 1:26). That if we are unable to seize His hand let us prostrate ourselves at His feet. If we are unable to reach His head, let us wash His feet with our tears (Lk. 7:38). Our sins give off a terrible odor but if we repent they will be transformed into perfume by Him. Therefore, let us ask the Lord to grasp our hands and He says, ‘the fever left her.’ Immediately as her hand is grasped, the fever flees.
One of the most beautiful truths of our faith is that the Eternal and Divine Son of God became human like us in all things but sin. Since Jesus does not come to save angels but human beings. He does not appear or born in an elegant and kingly home. Vatican II puts it this way: “By His incarnation, the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. He worked with human hands, He thought with human minds, acted by a human choice and love with a human heart,” (Gaudium et Spes no. 22).
One of the reasons also why He cures Peter’s mother-in-law can be because He know in His heart how He feels about His own mother, Mary. He feels what the wife of Simon Peter feels because He is a human being like us.
When most of us are depressed or have a problem, we look for someone who can understand us; someone who can appreciate how we feel; sharing our own experience with someone who has gone through a similar experience like ours is much more comforting than talking to anyone who is without experience like our own. That is why Jesus is born in order to feel also what we feel, to experience what we experience, to talk to Him and to share with Him our own feelings and hurts.
But unfortunately, some of us come to Jesus in prayer because they want something from Him. Rather than they come to Him because they love Him. We want to use Jesus to promote our personal needs. Somebody, a priest, said that when we begin to regard God as a spare tire this makes our relationship with Him a tragic one. All of us know that a spare tire is usually unnoticed until a vehicle gets a flat tire on the road. Similarly, some people seem to forget God when life is fine and pleasant but they ask God to remember them when there are storms and problems in life. Some people tend to forget God all day but they ask God to remember them at night. If this is the case, religion to such people is simply a crisis affair. God is not someone to be used in days of misfortune. He is someone to be loved and remembered everyday of our lives. In good times and in bad times God is to be loved and served.
Because of what Jesus has done for us, do we express our gratitude to God for the blessings we have received by serving others?