Every parent knows the fear that is associated with the word "fever." I have spent plenty of dark hours watching my children grimace and sweat under the weight of a fever. I have prayed and pleaded. I have sat in emergency rooms where it felt like no one really cared about my child.
Too often I take my health and the health of my family for granted. Only when one of us falls into ill health do I remember how valuable health is. I often think of Jesus giving sight to the blind, making the lame walk, the deaf hear, and the mute speak. However, I must remember that He cares for us not only in the "big" illnesses but also in the little things like a fever or a cold.
In the Gospel today Jesus is sought out so that He might heal Peter's mother-in-law of her fever. Really? Aren't there more serious cases around? Isn't their leprosy and cancer to address? Yet, Jesus responds with love to this request and heals Peter's mother-in-law.
What is amazing is that not only does the fever leave her but she is able to jump up and begin waiting on Jesus and His disciples. Word got around fast because before evening the place was surrounded by people bringing their sick friends for Jesus to heal. Through the night Jesus placed His hands upon them and healed them. Only with the morning does Jesus find a moment to rest and even then it is not for long.
This passage gives me comfort for many reasons. I find comfort in associating myself with the many who waited long hours into the night with their loved ones, waiting patiently yet anxiously for healing. I also find comfort in knowing that the Divine Physician continued to "make His rounds" even during the darkest hours. This gives me hope that He is always there beside those I love during their time of pain and suffering. He is there, as am I, by their bed during those times of sickness and suffering.
Jesus, heal this broken world. Rebuke the fever of sin in all of us so that we may return to serving You and others.
FROM THE SAINTS
- "Peter's mother-in-law's fever represents our flesh affected b various illnesses and concupiscences; our fever is passion, our fever is lust, our fever is anger - vices which, although they affect the body, perturb the soul, the mind and the feelings." Saint Ambrose
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