Today’s reading continues in Capernaum, at the house of Simon and Andrew. Upon arriving, Jesus learns that Simon’s mother-in-law is ill.

In Mark’s Gospel, we see many examples of Jesus’ ability to heal the sick. In today’s reading, Jesus heals Simon’s mother, as well as several others plagued by demons.

But in addition to the miraculous healing Jesus performs in this passage, we see the disciples take on their role as intermediaries.

After summoning the demons out of the sick, Jesus retreats to a deserted place to pray. We’ve come to understand this ritual as an important part of Jesus’ ministry. During his time of prayer he connects with God and receives guidance. As modern-day Christians, prayer is one of the many ways we connect with God today.

During his moment of prayer, Jesus’ disciples seek him out to report that everyone is looking for him. In response, Jesus explains that it’s time to move on and preach in a new place. We see this pattern continue throughout Jesus’ ministry. He preaches, heals, prays, and moves on to the next place.

At CMMB, our volunteers are empowered by Jesus’ ministry. In many ways, they themselves are disciples of Jesus, traveling to the most remote corners of the world to serve the needy. But they also look up to the disciples that came before them.

Dr. Tom Catena serving a patient. Image was originally published in America, the Jesuit Review

In an interview with long-time volunteer Dr. Tom Catena, the only permanent doctor serving in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, we asked who it is that inspires him. We will conclude today’s reflection by sharing his response. As we continue on into the New Year, we encourage you to reflect on who it is that brings inspiration to your life.

Growing up when I did, in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was a huge inspiration to my entire generation. We always had this idea that saints were people who lived 500 years ago, they were out of touch, and that they were people who were above everybody else. But here was somebody, a sort of very quiet, humble person, who was living in our day and age. She was doing very simple things, but at the same time, very incredible things, and she was a tremendous inspiration for me, as she was for so many other people. I think it was so important to have somebody, a contemporary person, a Catholic person, in modern day, who was living the Gospel life that we could relate to very well.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Tom Catena, or support his work, click here.

In grace and peace,


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