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Have you ever watched Antiques Roadshow?  It’s not a programme I watch a lot but from time to time I turn the channels and watch it for half an hour or so.  You know the format of the show: the settings is some large open space, often beside a castle or grand building where individuals come one by one to have a quiet meeting with an expert who assesses how valuable the item that has been brought along.  I don’t know why the programme came to mind (as I say, it’s not a programme I often watch) but it was that image which came to my mind in today’s Gospel.  There we see large crowds coming to see Jesus, crowded round and waiting at Jesus’ door.  The point I took from the scene was that Jesus didn’t speak to the large crowds in a one-er (as he did say for the Sermon on the Mount) but rather he saw them individually.  The people came for a quiet meeting with Jesus who heard their stories, assessed their needs sending them on their way with the blessing of his healing.

 

 

 

There was also another healing story in today’s Gospel and it takes place with Simon Peter’s mother-in-law.  This one follows the same pattern to quite a few of the healing stories in Mark’s Gospel.  For these healing stories take place in the presence of the four disciples who would become leaders: Peter and Andrew, James and John. I think it is significant that quite a few of these healings involve woman who often had a subordinate place in Jewish society of the time – Jesus breaks through that social norm to heal.  Then healings take place in an intimate setting – here, a house.  And the final aspect of the healing Gospel is that the individuals are sent on their way to minister, to serve, to be active in charity.

 

 

 

Today Jesus invites you to see him coming with healing.  He comes to you tonight – through this Mass – to have that one to one (just like the Antiques Roadshow).  Jesus sits down with you, to hear your story, to see your needs and to send you on your way with a blessing of healing.

 

 

 

Sometimes the healing we need is physical – be with me, Lord, in this physical pain and suffering!  Sometimes, however, we are in need of emotional healing, inner healing, spiritual healing, healing of the mind and of the heart.  The reason that has come to my mind this week is through the first reading today from the book of Job.  Here was a man who had served God faithfully but seemed to have disaster after disaster visited upon him.  How often have we prayed with Job these words: “is not my life nothing more than pressed service and hired drudgery? Lying in bed I wonder ‘When will it be day?’ Risen I think, ‘How slowly evening comes.’”

 

 

 

I invite you tonight to let yourself sit down with Jesus, present your needs to him – physical and emotional.  Jesus’ entire mission was one of healing.  For Jesus, preaching the Good News meant bringing healing to people.  Speak to Jesus tonight and let him bless you sending you back to your daily lives, not down-heartened but renewed and restored in his love.

 

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