Psalm 52:10, 11
After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. (Luke 4:38)
The way Luke tells the story in today’s Gospel reading, it’s as if Jesus has stepped out of the synagogue door and immediately crossed the threshold of Simon’s house. Refreshed as he was from worshipping his Father, he was ready to dive back into his mission of revealing the kingdom of God.
Now, we don’t know Jesus’ itinerary for that evening. Maybe he planned to share a meal with Simon’s family, or maybe he was going to spend extra time with the Twelve. But what we do know is that upon entering the house, Jesus learned that Simon’s mother-in-law was bedridden with a high fever. An opportunity to demonstrate the love and power of God presented itself, and Jesus capitalized on it!
What about us? When we attend Mass, we encounter the person of Jesus. Of course, he’s in the Eucharist. But he’s also present in the Scriptures being proclaimed. He’s present in the ministry of the priest. And he is in the midst of the believers gathered to worship him. As we lift our hearts to Christ, he comes to refresh us with his grace. Today’s Psalm even speaks about how we grow “like a green olive tree” when we’re in the house of the Lord (Psalm 52:10). Yet how often do we leave Mass rather anticlimactically, switching mental gears, and getting on with the rest of the day?
What if the next time you left Mass, you took advantage of this grace-filled state? Imagine yourself stepping out of your parish door and across the threshold to a new opportunity. Just as Jesus encountered Simon’s mother-in-law, you, too, could expect to encounter a new opening to demonstrate God’s love. It doesn’t matter all that much where you’re heading after Mass. If you are alert and open to the nudging of the Holy Spirit, you’ll discover opportunities popping up all over the place.
There’s a church in Florida that urges its members to do just that. Located on a cramped downtown street, the church offers a parking garage for its members. As the parishioners begin driving out of the garage, they pass under a large sign that reads, “You are now entering the mission field.”
“Lord, for the sake of the world, fill me anew with your grace.”~WAU