By Father Andrew Kelly
Mark’s Gospel attempts to deepen the faith of the believing community. The community’s members listen as disciples and see themselves in the stories.
In Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 1:29-39), Jesus took Simon’s ill mother-in-law by the hand and lifted (raised) her up. She began to serve. This is the community’s story and why the community serves.
At sunset the community with all its illnesses and demons is gathered in Jesus’ presence. Through Sunday Scriptures and Sunday ritual “And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons…”
“In the morning, while it was still very dark…” the community follows Jesus to a deserted place for prayer. In prayer, decisions are made that are not what the community wants. The community begs Jesus to stay, as everyone is excited about the healing and exorcisms.
But Jesus reminds the community of its one and only mission as disciples: “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.”
In Sunday’s Gospel the community’s faith is deepened, as it is “lifted up,” called to prayer and service and to Jesus’ mission wherever it leads.