There is something very beautiful about our Gospel this weekend. I wonder if you noticed that in all the healing incidents, Jesus acts ‘one on one’ with each person. He doesn’t heal people en masse, no, each person has a personal encounter which leads to them to freedom. We might say Jesus has an intimate encounter with the individuals who come to seek him out. Of course there is a great need for community, the support and encouragement and indeed the scrutiny of others in our lives of faith – but there is also a deep need for each one of us to take our relationship with Jesus personally, to encounter him ‘face to face’.
This relationship between the communal and the personal is played out in the first verses of our Gospel. Its after leaving the synagogue that Jesus goes to Simons house – and its there that the personal, healing encounter with Simons mother in law takes place. Jesus worships in community, then heals personally.
Simons mother in law is restored to her rightful and sacred role in Jewish households as the hospitality provider. No words are spoken between her and Jesus, he simply takes her by the hand and helps her up. Jesus breaks cultural taboos by touching a sick person, and by touching a woman that is not his relative, but law and custom cannot stand in the way of God’s healing power.
As we too seek out Jesus in our worship this weekend, lets also invite him into our midst so that we too might greet Him face to face.