1st Week of Ordinary Time (17th January, 2019)
First Reading: Heb 3:7-14
Gospel: Mk 1:40-45
It is normally the wish of every one to let others know the good words done by them. It is the expectation of all. This is in the current milieu too. We see it very well in today’s political fields. Be it laying stone of a few lac project or a multi crore one, everyone makes sure that what one does is let known by others.
Jesus stands contradictory to the populist way of acting for earning name and fame of public for himself. We shall recall His words which St. Mathew reflects in this Gospel where he warns against practicing piety before men in order to be seen for instance in the case of giving alms, praying and so on. In a succinct way he says, “Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Mt 6:1-4). We also how Jesus warns the Pharisees on their outward show of their life (Mt: 23:6-12). Thus, in today’s gospel he says, “And he charged him to tell no one; but go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to the people” we would think that Jesus did not want everyone to know about the miracle. The reasons why Jesus forbade proclamation of his miracles is that such would hinder his mission and divert public attention from His message.
The crux of those warnings consists in this that Jesus only desired that people derived spiritual benefit from His preaching, cure and become indication of the presence of God’s power and His presence in their midst. He was sure that publicizing such miracles would invite people to turn to Him for cure alone without understanding the spiritual meaning embedded in them. His desire was that people do not focus their attention on the miracles He performed rather he wanted them to get the message. He proclaimed the message not for the message itself but through message He wanted to bring forth life in abundance, life in union with God and harmony with one another. The same is to be of today too. We need to be aware of focusing on or advertising ourselves rather than making the glory of God sounding louder. We need to ensure that people experience the love and forgiveness of God rather than being concerned about excellence or perfection of various apostolate engaged or entrusted with. If they bring about glory of God, let us promote them and if not, we should reset our strategies to make them so that as John Baptist would say, “Let Him increase and let me decrease.” Amen.