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Who Is Jesus To You and What Do You Seek From Him?

Here is the prepared text for my homily for this past weekend.

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Job 7:1-4, 6-7
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Mark 1:29-39
February 5, 2012

Today’s gospel is just 12 verses but it tells us a lot about Jesus.  It tells us all the types of actions Jesus did between his baptism and the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and Resurrection.

It also tells us some of the response of the people.  For instance, Jesus heals people.  When he heals Simon’s mother-in-law, it tells us how in response, she immediately gets up and waits on them.  Jesus has healed her and in response she cares for his human needs.

Of course, as Christians, we shouldn’t just look at the fact that Jesus healed her but ask why?  He heals her because he cares about her as a person.

Then, Jesus drives out demons.  Why?  Because he cares about the people.  Jesus isn’t just about doing miracles.

After Jesus has healed many people and driven out many demons, what does he do?  He goes off to pray.  Jesus is a man of prayer.  If Jesus, who is the Son of God and the Messiah, takes the time to pray how much more do we need to spend time in pray to seek the Father’s Will?

While Jesus is praying, Simon and the others come looking for him.  He says “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also.”  Jesus is a man who preaches his Father’s Word.

Notice Jesus doesn’t say let us go to the nearby villages so I can do miracles there but rather preach there.  Are miracles good things?  Is it wonderful that Jesus heals sick people and drives out demons?  Absolutely, but that is not all he is.  

He does these things because he cares about us.  In turn, we should not just think about what Jesus can do for us.  We need to reflect on what he teaches us.  

Who is it that knows truly and fully who Jesus is?  It is the demons!  We know this because we are told that Jesus did not permit them to speak “because they knew him.”

Why won’t Jesus want people to know who he truly is?  Won’t it be better for them to know that he is no mere prophet or miracle worker but the Son of God?

After all, many of the people who were looking for Jesus just followed him because they were looking for miracles.  Some of them might not even have cared who he was if he did a miracle for them.

Some may have hoped he was the messiah but they had their own expectations of what the messiah would be like and Jesus didn’t meet those expectations.

In Mark’s Gospel, we call this pattern of Jesus not allowing the demons to tell the people who he really is “The Messianic Secret.”

Jesus wants each person to come to believe in Jesus for themselves.  The miracles and exorcisms are meant to help with that but there were other miracle workers then, so the miracles don’t prove Jesus is the Messiah and much more.

The people only come to know who Jesus is at his Crucifixion and Resurrection.  For those who don’t come to fully know Jesus, the Crucifixion is defeat.  For those who do, the Crucifixion is victory over death.

Who is Jesus to you?

Do you seek Jesus as a miracle worker?  Crying out to him in times of illness and despair?  Jesus is a miracle worker but he is also much more than that.

Do you come to Jesus to rid yourself of the “demons” in your life?  Jesus can help but he is much more than that.

Do you come to Jesus to learn how to pray?  Do you just pray for an hour here at church?  Do you ever talk to Jesus during the week? 

Do you seek Jesus’ advice on how to deal with whatever is going on in your lives?

Is your faith in Jesus just one part of your life (faith) or do you seek Jesus is all things?

For instance, when you are making a decision, is your faith in Jesus part of how you determine what is good and bad?

Jesus wants to be part of our lives when we are sick and when we are healthy.  Jesus wants to help us be good moral people.

Who is Jesus to you and what do you seek from him?

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