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He Knows What’s Bugging You and He Cares About It

First Reading: Hebrews 2:14-18

Since the children share in blood and Flesh,
Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one
who has the power of death, that is, the Devil,
and free those who through fear of death
had been subject to slavery all their life.
Surely he did not help angels
but rather the descendants of Abraham;
therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
to expiate the sins of the people.
Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generationsB
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Gospel: Mark 1:29-39

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.

NAB

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus experienced human suffering? And I’m not referring to His suffering on the Cross here, because that is a mystery and a majesty in and of itself. What I’m thinking of is His normal, every day, every-human-experience suffering.

Like being hungry. Or angry. Or annoyed. Or tired. Or disappointed.

Like losing friends and family He loved dearly. Like people not leaving Him alone to rest. Like being misrepresented. Like being taken for granted. Like being betrayed.

These are very human emotions and trials we all face at some point during our lives, and I’ll never get over the fact that God thought it necessary and good to experience those right alongside us. No other religion has a God who does this. Christians are unique in the fact that we know our Lord in a miraculously intimate way. We know Him. He knows us.

And because Jesus came, and suffered, and wept, and was subject to bodily rhythms like sleep and hunger, He is able to empathize with every suffering in our own lives, no matter how great or small.

“Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.”

What’s testing you today? What’s causing you to suffer?

Pause here, if you don’t mind, and really think about that. Tell Jesus what’s hurting your heart in this moment. And don’t hold back, you can be as blunt as you wish.

Now, as we move forward through the rest of our day, however long it may be, whenever we feel that pain in our hearts or our guts, whenever we are reminded of what we are going through, let’s try to invite the Lord into that pain. He wants to bear it with us. He wants us to come to Him with every concern. He knows our suffering well, and He wants to help us through it.

Ask Him. He’s here.

photo credit

Olivia Spears is a middle school religion teacher turned SAHM who is married to her high school best friend. You can find out more about her here.

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