Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
The author of Hebrews reminds us of the meaning of the incarnation, a critical tenet of our faith: Jesus was born into our world not to help the angels, but us, the descendants of Abraham. Jesus became like you and me “in every way” that he might have the capacity to understand what we humans go through. And oh, what we’ve gone through in 2020! So much pain and suffering. So much contention in our country.
We have, however, a God who understands—from the inside. And when we spend time in prayer, when we participate in the Eucharist, we have a divine friend and “brother” we can speak with and receive whatever healing we need—physically, emotionally, spiritually.
Today’s gospel relates the story of Jesus healing Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. It tells us that he leaned down, took her hand, and “helped her up.” She recovered and then “waited on them.”
I know from experience that physical, emotional, and spiritual pain can make us more sensitive and understand others’ pain, whatever the source. We also know from this past year the depths of the pain so many have experienced: the effects of racist and other violent actions, confinement in our homes, the consequences of a struggling economy, the sorrow over the loss of loved ones, the feeling of helplessness over a global pandemic. (As I write, though, vaccines are now being administered throughout our country and in different parts of the world. Such good news!)
So, let us welcome the message of Hebrews into our hearts: Jesus knows from his own sufferings what we are going through. May we find healing in him that we can go forth in eucharistic love to “wait” on others in whatever way that is helpful.
Let Us Pray:
O LORD, we give you thanks for the covenant you have made with us. We proclaim your wondrous deeds; we sing your praise for the strength you give to those whose hearts seek you, oh LORD. That we may serve you constantly. Amen. (Based on Psalm 105)
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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