Today's Gospel: Mark 1:29-39 - 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time One of my earliest memories is playing nurse to my sick grandparents. I remember specifically being a very young child and being determined that my nursing would make a difference for my grandparents. I carry those moments, when I was a “caregiver” for them, in my heart. I loved bringing them joy. The smiles on their faces even in the final days of their lives are memories I cherish. I would sit on their beds with my clipboard and toys and entertain them and more likely myself. At four, I knew that my visits helped them. At thirty-four, I now know that my visits brought them joy, and joy is a powerful medicine. Of the many healings in the gospels, the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law is one of the closest to Jesus, personally. I wonder if Jesus took that memory with Him, if healing her made Him feel stronger, made Him feel joyous at the happiness He brought to His best friend’s family. In the gospel of Mark it is this healing that makes Jesus move on to heal others, He knows this is His mission and purpose but perhaps, it was the joy He felt that made Him want to bring this joy to others. Jesus goes on to not only heal in His lifetime but to inspire others to heal. As followers of Christ it is our mission to do as He did and bring joy to the suffering in our world. Perhaps we cannot heal, as Jesus did, but maybe our joyful hearts can bring peace and smiles in times of suffering and sorrow.


How can you bring joy to the suffering today?


Lord, help me to feel the joy You felt when You helped Your best friend. Give me the strength to spread that joy, even when I am sad. Amen.
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