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Heal our Sin, Lord Jesus

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Deep are the Wounds that Sin has Made

Mark 1:29–39 

In a commentary on St Mark's Gospel St Bede makes the following observation about the healing of Peter's mother-in-law, “The health which is conferred at the command of the Lord returns at once entire, accompanied with such strength that she is able to minister to those of whose help she had before stood in need.”  The miracle involved Jesus's directly touching her, taking her by the hand and helping her up, healed and ready to serve (v. 31).  This simple and seemingly minor incident and healing in Jesus's ministry reveals so much about who he is and why he came. Only God himself could heal as Jesus healed; only divine power could overturn the laws of nature and the grip of a fever and suffering so effortlessly and so immediately.

Christian revelation teaches us  that we are in need of healing because we are fallen and wounded by sin.  Each one of us is sick by sin. For sure, by God's grace baptism removes the stain of original sin but we bear its scar and we are wounded, subject to weakness and temptation during our life on earth.  The great apostle Paul, in heartfelt anguish and desperation, cried out, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver  me from this body of death?”  (Rom. 7:24). Through baptism we are immersed in Jesus’s death and resurrection, but our life on earth is a struggle to overcome the sin which seeks to master us and be healed from the wounds and bruises we receive in the course of our battle with sin and what the Church calls 'concupiscence'.  

We can console ourselves with this reflection by the early church father St Irenaeus: “The Word of God, Jesus Christ, on account of his great love for humankind, became what we are in order to make us what he is himself.”  He who was without sin took away our sin that we who are sinful could know the freedom and joy of being children of God, heirs of Christ.  

May Christ come to our house and enter in and by his command cure the fever of our sins.  Each one of us is sick with a fever.  Whenever I give way to anger, I have a fever There are as many fevers as there are faults and vices. Let us beg the apostles to intercede for us with Jesus, that he may come to us and touch our hand. If he does so, at once our fever is gone. (St Jerome)

Job 7:1-7 • Psalm 146(147):1–6 • 1 Corinthians 9:16–19, 22–23 • Mark 1:29–39

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