February 7, 2009


5th Sunday - B
Mark 1:29-39

"For this purpose have I come"

This passage chosen for this Sunday picks up where last Sunday left off. In the previous verses, Mark reports the events that took place in the synagogue where Jesus taught with authority and healed a man inflicted with an unclean spirit.

From the synagogue, Jesus and his disciples visited the house of Peter and healed his mother-in-law. Then, "when it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons."

All of this took place in just one day, the first day in Jesus' public ministry.

Mark portrays a Jesus who is hurrying in proclaiming the Kingdom of God in his preaching and his healing. He is a man on a mission.

Because he is on a mission to proclaim that the Kingdom of God is at hand (Mark 1:15), nothing will stop or slow him down. For the same reason, he broke Sabbath rules and ignored social and religious taboos (touching a woman and people who are considered "unclean.") The urgency of the Kingdom could not have been clearer in his action.

Yet, early the next morning, he goes to a deserted place to pray. He is a man driven by a mission, not activities. Here, he reveals to his disciples, and to us, that he is driven by the Father's will. And because of that, his life has a clear purpose. "For this purpose have I come."

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