Order of Preachers (Dominicans)
Province of St. Joseph the Worker, Nigeria & Ghana
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By Augustine Agwulonu
Mon, 08 Feb 2016


Jesus travels yet again by boat, across the see, to the land of Gennesaret. With the expression that Jesus and his followers "tied up" their boat at the shore, it seems they have something up their sleeves! They probably know what to expect in that town.

The information that the people recognize Jesus immediately introduces what follows. So, the people immediately gather their sick and take them to Jesus. The Lord heals the sick, as those who bring them to Jesus anticipate.

Jesus is the manifestation of God's healing touch. Either he touches the sick or the sick touch him. In whichever case, the sick persons gets cured. Jesus and those who recognize him practically declare war against the infirmities, from which the sick suffer. In a place where Jesus is accepted, healing becomes a universal experience. In this narrative we observe the dynamic relationship between the recognition; acceptance of Jesus and the miracles he performs, be they healing or exorcism. According to the evangelist, Mark, such mass healing, as reported here, tends to be recurrent during Jesus' public ministry (see Mk 1:32f). In fact, Mark dramatizes the healing benefits, which those who recognize and accept Jesus enjoy. The magnitude of such healing exercises and experiences tends to make them appear exclusive. And in this way there is a distinction made between recognizing and accepting Jesus, and refusing to accept him with faith.

Mark challenges his audience to know, recognize and acknowledge Jesus for who he is and what he can do for them. There is a great benefit for doing so. And not to do so means inhibiting Jesus from healing the sick, and preventing the sick from receiving their healing. Faith accords Jesus the freedom to heal. It also opens the way for the sick to be healed. It is a duty we owe our sick brothers and sisters, to bring them to Jesus, who is ever willing and ready to cure them. And we can only take them to Jesus, if we ourselves recognize Jesus and the healing powers at work in him. So, we are morally bound to make Jesus reach out to those who are helplessly sick in order for him to restore them to health.

Jesus comes to make God's healing power present and available to all who approach him with faith. With Jesus, there is hope for healing and liberation, both physically and spiritually, both now and in the world to come. Jesus's mass healing exercises, as Mark reports them, demonstrate God's eschatological declaration of wellness and wholeness to his children. It ushers in the time of wellbeing for all God's children, especially those who believe in Jesus.

The Lord Jesus declares war against sickness and pains. He commands an operation heal the sick and raise the dead!



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