Gospel of Mark 1:29-39
Jesus cured many who were sick with various diseases.
On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.
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, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.
Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.
In this gospel, I am drawn to enter an imaginative contemplation.
- I imagine the crowds gathered around Jesus that evening. Their desire to be healed.
- The fatigue of those who are sick. The vulnerability and courage it takes to turn up.
- The energy, excitement and wonder in the air at what was happening.
- I imagine Jesus curing me. I wonder how he looks at me, how he touches me. I stay in this moment of encounter awhile.
- I breathe in the peace and freedom that comes.
- I listen carefully and hear his desire to share his knowledge and wisdom with others.
- I notice his desire to pray quietly as well as his focus and wholehearted sense of purpose.
I wonder where others are drawn to in this contemplation?
Mary Ward experienced deep emotional healing in her own contemplations.
I lifted fearfully my eyes to God (I know not whether, by chance or what was my motive), but by this look I was made happy. In an instant I loved him and was very sorry for all those sins, and besought him with love and a few tears to forgive me them all and every one. Mary Ward’s retreat notes 1618
I am struck by the intimacy and healing in the loving gaze Mary experiences with God.
As followers in her footsteps she leads us to do the same.
I take time to prayerfully imagine my loving God gazing on me and those around me.