12 January 2011 Wednesday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time
Hebrews 2: 14-18; Psalm 105; Mark 1: 29-39
“Knowing” is the word for today. When we say that we “know” a person, we can mean different things. They can be acquaintances, those you’ve been introduced to, or even those whom you know, but they don’t know you. For example, you “know” a showbiz personality, but they don’t know who you are. They can be our co-workers or classmates whom you may know a bit of their general information, but nothing else. They can also be some of your close friends who holds some of your personal data, but they don’t know you intimately.
The biblical sense of “knowing” means that we know everything about the person, through and through. Some best friends or intimate partners reach this kind of level, but no one perhaps knows us “through and through” and to the very last strand of our hair, but God Himself. God’s knowing is a total oneness with our being that nothing that is of us is held secret. We cannot escape God, as the Psalmist says in Psalm 139:
You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
The letter to the Hebrews affirms this biblical “knowing” because Jesus is as close to us as flesh and blood. He knows us totally and completely. There is a difference between someone who says, “She’s one of our friends” and another who says, “I am one of them.”
Jesus is able to heal us because He is one of us. He is able to “know” our hearts. He accompanies us in our illnesses. He understands what we are undergoing when we are sick or when we are caregivers of the ill. Take for example the Gospel today. Peter’s mother-in-law longs to care for her guests as custom dictates of hospitality. But she cannot because she is ill. In addition, I can also imagine Jesus’ understanding of Peter’s dilemma: it will be quite a challenge for a disciple to focus if he worries about his family. Jesus’ compassion makes healing possible; it is the power that gives life.
Ideally, this is the same for doctors: they have to know the patient first, then diagnose the illness according to this knowledge. So that prescription effectively aids healing.
Since Jesus became one of us, as we reflected in the past Season of Christmas, He continuously shares all our struggles. By being one with all our sufferings, He is able to heal and save us from our woundedness and sinfulness.
How open are you about all your struggles to the Lord? Are there things you still find difficult to pray about because you know how grave they are; that you are even not ready to accept that you committed them?