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The good news for the day January 19, 2017

Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time (314)

Although Jesus withdrew from the crowds toward the sea with his followers, a large number of people followed from Galilee as well as from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from south of that–Idumea, from east of the Jordan, and from the West—Tyre and Sidon. He told his followers to get a boat ready for him because of the crowd—so that they would not press him too much. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. Whenever addicts of lustful behavior saw him they would fall down before Him, yelling, “You are the Child of God.” He warned them sternly not to make him known. (Mark 3)

They yelled out their view—and Jesus tells them “not to make Him known”! What is going on? It seems contradictory.

Reflection suggests two things in this contradiction. First, that “bad people” acknowledge this good individual, see in him a help to cure some ‘demon’ controlling their life. A child of God can free them of that because of who he is—a humble person who feels loved, secure with no need to pursue praise, sex, or power over others. If you follow Jesus—if you, too, are a Child of God—others see it—and draw healing from you.

Secondly, Jesus knew that such power, praise, and insight irritates others officially supposed to discern health and life—priests and politicians, educated, trained people, and so on. Jesus knew about jealousy and competition; he knew that authentic people find in “good” people—like yourself—a helping hand, a modesty, and a limit to what they can do. Sinners and failures—with a sense of morality—and desperation—find hope in you—a Child of God. Complacent egotists, absolutists, and ideologues—disdain goodness! You upset them, and they want to stop you—by name-calling, contempt, and relentless  ill-will. Your compassion and healing, however, is what bystanders see and appreciate.

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