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5th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle B

Mark 1:29-39

“He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons.” (Mark 1:34)

The early stages of Jesus’ ministry begin with healing.  He first heals Simon’s mother-in-law, and by sunset the “whole city was gathered around the door.”  Jesus immediately responds to the desperate need before Him, curing the sick and casting out demons.

In reading this passage, we might consider the many unnamed people who flock to Jesus.  While Jesus was known for healing the blind, deaf, and lame, it’s likely people suffered from even more debilitating ailments. Even beyond healing physical ailments, Jesus “casts out many demons,” healing people spiritually.  For those who were sick, whether in body or spirit, each day would be a struggle.  But their lives would be affected even more profoundly, because they lived on the margins of society.

This is who Jesus comes to first.  While his healing ministry proved his miraculous ability, it was also a demonstration of his love.  When faced with the crowd at the door, Jesus immediately “cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons,” giving his time and effort to all who came before Him.  He demonstrates that whoever comes before Him, He gives his attention to. 

Since the time of Jesus, we have developed treatments for many ailments. Still, even in our advanced age, there is still so much that cannot be cured.  We still must bear the burden of disability, chronic conditions, mental illness, cancer, and even Covid-19.  Yet it is not God’s desire to leave us in this state.  We were meant to be whole in body and spirit, but the presence of sin in the world causes us to be unwell.

The good news is that our hope lies in the Lord, who is the healer of our every ill.  Since we live in a fallen world, pain may remain; but Jesus also remains with us in our suffering.  There will come a day when we are made whole once more. Today, we can come to the Lord, who will not turn away.


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