Wednesday of the 1st Week of the Year

Mk 1:29-39

The Cure of Simon’s Mother-in-law


People flocked to Jesus because they recognized in him somebody “who could do things.” Jesus was not only a preacher. He was a doer. He could and can, produce results.

Unfortunately, some people came “because they wanted something from Jesus.” They did not come because they loved Jesus. They wanted to use Jesus to promote their personal needs.

This makes our relationship with God tragic: when people begin to regard God as a spare tire. 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 bad times God is to be loved and served. (Fr. Louie Punzalan, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


Some people have a difficulty doing good deeds without being noticed. It is understandable especially in this media-oriented world, whether we like it or not. But some purposely like it, they intentionally invite attention. On one bridge somewhere, for example, a barangay captain’s name was painted within the span of the bridge’s railings; the name looked even bigger than the bridge itself.

“Everybody is looking for you,” reported Simon and company to Jesus. After a string of healing miracles, who would not look for Jesus. But Jesus had none of it, the social connotation and attention that is. First, the contrast in audience and ambience shows that Christ did not really mind the external conditions of his actions. What mattered most was the person/s who needed healing, whether in the private quarters of Peter’s mother-in-law or in the public sphere of a synagogue.

Secondly, upon hearing Simon’s apparently ego-boosting comment, he said, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” It was the purpose, his mission that was uppermost in his mind, not “that everybody was looking for him.” (Fr. Melchor Cagape, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


To accomplish His Father’s work, Jesus needed sustenance for His body and power for His soul: food and prayer.

Food: As a human being Jesus had to eat. In many instances we see Him in the gospels eating with people. At Cana, in the house of Levi and Zacchaeus, Mary, Martha and Lazarus, and to today in the house of Simon. Moreover, eating together, especially with sinners, has become part of God’s Kingdom. While dining with people Jesus was announcing and inviting all to come and sit with God,; the lost can find their way now and those who were in search for meaning may now come and see.

Prayer: Today’s gospel reading belies the belief that work could become one’s prayer. If there was someone burdened by work, Jesus would have been the first in line. “The whole town was gathered at the door.” And yet despite the world’s urgent need to be saved, and surrounded by everyone looking for Him, Jesus “left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.” Work could not be a substitute for prayer.

As we eat to live, enjoy life and do God’s work, let us not forget to set regular time for formal prayer, just like Jesus. Thirty minutes or one hour of daily prayer is not even one-tenth of the 24 hours that God gives us daily.

An old woman asked an elderly priest, “Father, will you teach me again to pray?” the priest laughed and said, “Ma’am at your age, you should not be praying anymore: instead, you should be contemplating.” Well, prayer or contemplation, which one is it? Never mind, more important is that daily we should have a regular and formal time to be with God (Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2012)


January 13, 2016 Wednesday

Our Gospel for today tells us that the people were searching for Jesus. Jesus was an active missionary who did not remain only in one place but moved around from one village to the other so he could reach out to more people. People kept on following Jesus wherever He went to listen to His preaching and, more importantly, to ask for healing for the sick in their families or communities. We can imagine how Jesus became important in the lives of those people who heard Him and witnessed the different healing miracles which He performed.

Today we ask these questions: Are there people who are still searching for Jesus? Have we really found Jesus in our lives? The visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines led me to a deeper realization of my faith in our Triune God. Pope Francis came to the Philippine not in order to search for Jesus. He came in order to bring Jesus closer to the people, especially to the poor, to the marginalized, to the sick, to the children, to all of us. Pope Francis was successful in bringing Jesus closer to all of us through his simple and sincere words (preaching) and through his kind and genuine deeds (gestures and actions). In short, Pope Francis succeeded in bringing Jesus closer to us because he was simply sharing Jesus whom he allowed to dwell in his heart.

Can we tell the world that Jesus is dwelling in our hearts? If so…then we have to concretize it by allowing Jesus who is an active missionary to continue performing His mission in and through us through our words and deeds. Thus we show to all people that Jesus is alive. There is no need to search for Jesus but rather to experience His presence in our midst because we allow Jesus to dwell in our hearts (Fr. Jingjong Rocha, SVD | Provincial Superior, PHS, Cebu City Bible Diary 2016)



GOD IS NEVER TOO GREAT FOR YOU: The Lord came to the house of Simon Peter to rest. While He entered the house to rest, the very same people who were waiting for Him in the house had their own preoccupation.

Peter told the Lord that his mother-in-law had a fever and asked the Lord to do something about it.

It was probably too small to be presented to God, but because of the intimacy between Jesus and Peter, Peter did not hesitate to tell the Lord about even such a small matter.

Sometimes we think God is too great so we do not prevent our small matters to Him anymore. We pray to God to cure us of cancer but we don’t pray to God to cure our headache. We ask God to cure us of leukemia but we do not ask Him to cure us of our cold. We ask the Lord to bless us when we go abroad but we hardly pray when we leave the house to go to work.

These all seem to be little things but the lesson of the Gospel is God is never to great for even our smallest concerns.

Men may be too small for great preoccupations, but God is never too great for our small ones. God has time. God has power. God has concern even for the smallest matter.

Small problems that we are ashamed to confide to other people, we can bring up to God. God is never to great for those small matters. On the other hand, our problems can become so big that we cannot talk to anybody anymore. Let us not forget, God is not too great for our greatest problem.

God has time. God has love. God has concern for great and small matters. Men maybe too small for our great problems but, God is never too great for our greatest problem.

Let us abandon ourselves to Him as Peter did. He was rewarded for such faith. May the same faith be ours. (Socrates Villegas, Only Jesus, Always Jesus, p. 85)


ON MOTHERS-IN-LAW: There have been so many jokes about mothers-in-law. Comedian Pepe Pimentel has proved that that mother-in-law bashing can be a ticket to fame and popularity.

Today we will not make fun of others-in-law. Instead, we will learn from the Gospel narrative about Peter’s mother-in-law. I propose three lessons from the miracle story of Peter’s mother-in-law.

First, the Lord is never too tired to do an act of kindness. The Gospel text begins by saying it had been a very busy day for Jesus. Thus, He was looking forward to a time of rest from all the work. He would rest with Peter and His mother-in-law. Jesus was tired and anxious; and badly in need of rest. He just wanted to forget the crowd, to be by Himself, to be left to Himself.

Yet, even all this fatigue could not stop Him from doing good, from performing an act of kindness and healing Peter’s mother-in-law.

We then ask ourselves, isn’t it true that we get tired so easily? That even if we can already perform a task right away, we make tiredness as an excuse for putting this off for a later time? Even our good deed we put off for another day. We say: “I will just do good tomorrow.” Jesus, on the other hand, was never too tired to do an act of kindness, right away.

Second, Jesus did His act of kindness in obscurity. He had no need for a crowd. With Him were only Peter and his mother-in-law. Even without a crowd to applaud Him and people to heap praises at Him, Jesus did an act of kindness for the sick woman. So we ask ourselves, “Isn’t it true also that we find it better to do good when many people can see us?” After all, when we are alone, it is easier to be our old, wicked selfish selves, since there is no one to censure us; no prying crowd to watch our every move.

When no one is watching, we can do anything we want. When no one is observing, it is easy to forget about God. When no one is watching, we feel free to do the shameful things we are tempted to do. After all, no one will know.

But for the Lord, crowd or no crowd, people or no people, applause or no applause, appreciated or ridiculed, He will do an act of kindness.

Third, after the old woman was cured of fever, she immediately stood up, waited on and served the Lord. Her actions point to the fact that all of us are healed always for others.

You are blessed for others, you are given graces for others, and you receive benefits for others. You are never, never blessed only for yourself. You are never healed for yourself. You are never treated with much delight and favor only for yourself. You are healed, you are favored, you are blessed, for that one significant entry: OTHERS.

We ask three blessings from the Lord today. To serve even if we are tired, to serve even if we feel sick, to serve even if we feel we just want to be left to ourselves.

To serve even if there is no crowd, to serve even if it is solely God who sees us.

And, to serve because we have been blessed. (Socrates Villegas, Only Jesus, Always Jesus, p. 150-151)


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

WEDNESDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – MARCOS 1:29-39. UNSA MAY ANGAY’NG MAGTUKLOD KANATO SA PAGDUOL SA DIOS? Daghang mga masakiton ug giyawaan ang gipang-ayo ni Hesus. Tungod niini nahimo siyang inila ug pinangita sa mga tawo. Gusto nila siyang hawiran sa ilang lugar. Apan gipadayag ni Hesus kanila nga kinahanglan niyang moadto sa laing dapit aron magsangyaw. Atong masabtan sa ebanghelyo nga si Hesus walay gusto sa panatikong paagi sa pagsunod kaniya. Nasayod siya nga daghan ang moduol kaniya aron lamang mangayo ug aron matuman ang ilang kagustohan. Dili kini ang angay’ng mahitabo sa mga sumusunod. Moduol kita ni Hesus dili aron magsigi’g pangayo kondili aron makasabot sa kabubut-on sa Dios ug makasunod sa iyang panig-ingnan. Kini ang katuyoan nga angay’ng magdasig kanato sa pagsunod kang Hesus. Posted by Abet Uy



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Reflection for January 13, Wednesday of the First Week; Mark 1:29-39

Reflection: How’s your relationship with your mother-in-law?

They say that mother-in-laws are the scourge of married couples but they are not. Mother-in-laws are blessings to married couples, they are the guiding light that always illuminates couples whenever they go through humps and bumps in their married life.

In our gospel Jesus was brought by Simon to their house to cure his mother-in-law. Why? Because his mother-in-law is a blessing and guiding light to his family otherwise Simon would have not asked Jesus to come by to their house and heal her.

Simon told Jesus about her sickness and entrusted her healing to Him. Jesus immediately went to her grasped her hand and she was immediately cured. That’s how big the love of Simon towards his mother-in-law and that’s how huge the trust of Simon toward Jesus.

Sometimes our problem is we trust more on ourselves rather than Jesus. We put more weight on our human effort rather than the divine effort of Jesus. This is perhaps the reason why many of us forget to bring first our sick to Jesus by way of our prayers before bringing them to those who could cure them.

What is it that is bothering you right now? Is it the harshness of life? Is it sickness? Is it unfulfilled dreams? Is it family and personal problems? You tell Jesus about it, be patient, don’t give-up; continue to have hope and trust in Jesus. His help and healing will come to you sooner than you expect it. – Marino J. Dasmarinas



SAVOR THE MOMENT – Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. – Mark 1:35

I write this in the middle of a busy mall. Because I’m a self-proclaimed sociologist, psychologist and anthropologist, I love to observe and appreciate shoppers in their random loveliness and uniqueness.

Everyone seems so absorbed in his or her thoughts, conversations or shopping. It reminds me of the adage, “Life happens while we’re busy doing other things.”

In one campus I visited, signs at every strategic wall remind the students: “Life Happens Here.”

That struck me. Because we can get so busy that we miss the essence of life. One philosopher described this well when he said, “The greatest tragedy is a life unlived.” An unlived life can also be the “tyranny of the familiar,” when we get so caught up by the mundaneness of daily routine.

How do we avoid this tragedy and tyranny? I recommend one life skill — it’s called savoring. Others would call it cherishing. I call it “I don’t wanna miss a thing….” It is embracing the present moment with love and appreciation.

This is what Jesus did in the passage above. Let’s follow Him onwards to a full life! Obet Cabrillas (

Reflection: Are you living an unlived life? Are you oppressed by the tyranny of the ordinary?

Lord, keep us from being self-focused and instead look to others and serve them.



PERSEVERE IN PRAYER – The Gospel today finds Jesus rising before dawn to go to a deserted place to pray. He shows us the need to make prayer central to our life. He wants us to establish a beautiful relationship with God through prayer, assuring us that when we are passionate in seeing God’s will and His work in this world, and we ask for the things that bring Him glory and increase our closeness to Him, He is eager and willing to give us anything we ask for in prayer.

I know this to be true because I experienced the power of prayer firsthand. In the last two years, I had critical health issues and I know I survived those days in the hospital and recovered in no time because of my prayers and the prayers of those who put their trust in God. I know, too, that God still has a mission for me. My prayer every day is for God to unfold this mission and for me to have the strength and courage to work through it, whatever it is.

Whether it is healing that you are praying for, a partner in life, a new career, or inner peace, you must persevere. Keep on asking and you will receive it. Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking until finally the door opens. God is always home. Do not walk away. God wants us to persevere in prayer, to pray often and with intensity.

May our prayers every day bring glory to God. Sometimes the things that glorify God are pleasant things, like the gift of a new child, or another year in our life. Sometimes it is the difficult things, like a failure that humbles us, a physical weakness or the death of a beloved one that makes us depend entirely on Him. But we must never doubt that because we ask for what is in His will, we will receive it, and that what we receive from Him will always be that which is best. Fr. Erick Santos, OFS

REFLECTION QUESTION: What is your fervent prayer these days? Keep praying, keep asking, keep knocking. The Lord is listening.

I know, Lord, that You are listening. May I have the grace to persevere in prayer and the eyes to see how You are answering my prayer, and not necessarily according to how I expect it. Amen.


Wednesday, January 13

First week in the Ordinary time

1Sam 3: 1-10, 19-20; Mk 1: 29-39

What Motivates Us

Today’s Gospel presents Jesus in full-fledged action. He was totally immersed in his public ministry. We see him curing the sick, driving out demons, teaching the people and also spending some private time with his heavenly father. It is quite interesting to explore and discover what drives one’s life and actions. What might have been the motivating factor behind the busy schedule of Jesus? His disciples believed that it was the demand of the people. That is why when they found Jesus wasting golden opportunities, they searched and found him to report that he was much in demand. They demanded him to return to the crowd where he can do a lot of good. It is good for us as well to check what motivates us and what keeps our spirit soaring? Is it demand and recognition of the people or something else? If it is the demand and recognition that float us, when there is no more demand we will sink. Our spirit will stink. That is why we often find our old stalwarts very bitter and grumbling. They keep on complaining about the ingratitude of the young generation and their forgetfulness of the great accomplishments and contributions of their predecessors. Some go for writing books on their life and times and freely distribute it. Some go on laying as many foundation stones as possible.

If we look for the driving force behind the activities of Jesus we can notice that he was not guided by the principle of supply and demand. He was constantly conscious of the “purpose for which he has come”. He constantly remained in touch with his heavenly father, whose mandate he was trying to execute every moment of his life. Jesus was least worried about other motivating factors like reward – punishment, success – failure, crown – cross, etc. All those were the same to him. Naturally, we may immediately say, “It was easy for Jesus, being God he knew beforehand his mission, unlike us. We poor human beings do not know what we are supposed to do and where we have to go.” But, that is not true. Jesus was never in a better position than any of us. He too had to be constantly in touch with his father, he too had to struggle, until he sweat blood to accept his father’s will over his own. Saying, “Not my will, Thy will be done” is the way forward for Jesus as well as each and every one of us, which is nothing other than fulfilling the purpose of our incarnation. Saying “I do not know what God wants from me” is a deception. It will be obvious to us every moment, if we care to open our eyes and look. Whether we want to know it and whether we are ready to say “fiat” to it is entirely another matter. One Malayalam poet wrote, “Velicham dukhamaanunni thamasallo sughapradam” (My child, light is painful, darkness is comfortable). Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI



January 13, 2016

REFLECTION: Both of today’s readings present someone placing himself in a position which will render communication with God possible: young Samuel in a nocturnal listening to God‘s voice in the Temple sanctuary and Jesus in an early morning encounter with God “in a lonely place.” Does God really favor this sort of situation (aloneness) to communicate himself to us? All the spiritual masters insist that, without a lot of solitary time spent with God, no voice of God is likely to be heard. And that is basically true. Why the qualification “basically?” Because, in truth, this is what seems to be God’s preferred way of proceeding.

Let us imagine Ben, a man of God whom we consider wonderfully guided by God in all his actions. Does Ben pray regularly? Yes, he spends at least an entire hour communing with God every day. Does God speak to him then? Ben will answer that, as a rule, his hour of prayer is one long arid distraction during which nothing much happens—certainly no voice from Heaven. But during the day Ben is aware that the Spirit is gently inspiring him to do this or not to do that, to say this or not to say that. And so, God does speak to Ben, but only after Ben has “wasted” time in “listening” to Him through long silences, and that voice of God is deferred until after prayer time. Strange, isn’t it?


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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