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Jesus the Healer

First Reading: Hebrews 2:5-12

It was not to angels that God subjected the world to come,
of which we are speaking.
Instead, someone has testified somewhere:

What is man that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man that you care for him?
You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you crowned him with glory and honor,
subjecting all things under his feet.

In “subjecting” all things to him,
he left nothing not “subject to him.”
Yet at present we do not see “all things subject to him,”
but we do see Jesus “crowned with glory and honor”
because he suffered death,
he who “for a little while” was made “lower than the angels,”
that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

For it was fitting that he,
for whom and through whom all things exist,
in bringing many children to glory,
should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering.
He who consecrates
and those who are being consecrated all have one origin.
Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them “brothers” saying:

I will proclaim your name to my brethren,
in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 8:2AB AND 5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (see 7) You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.
O LORD, our Lord,
how glorious is your name over all the earth!
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?
R. You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.
You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet.
R. You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.
All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
R. You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.

Gospel: Mark 1:21-28

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers,
and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!”
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
“What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

NAB

When I was in college I found myself mentoring a teenage girl in my urban neighborhood who had suffered more trauma and abuse than I could wrap my mind around. Mary had taken to me because we had a shared history of self-harm (cutting), and I was several years down the road while she still struggled day by day. I prayed for and with her often, brought her to church with me, brought her to my small group, and sought help from others as well. It was clear to me that Mary was dealing with a spiritual oppression that was beyond what I had encountered before, I didn’t know the first thing about how to help her with the depth of her problems. I just had to trust Jesus that He would make up for my lack.

One day we were sitting on the floor of my bedroom, praying fervently together, when suddenly I caught an unusual look in Mary’s eye. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. She jumped up and raced to the bathroom and in a split-second I understood (probably quickened by the Holy Spirit) that she was trying to find a razor. I caught up with her, held her arm, and honestly felt strength pulse through my body. Even though she had a good 100 pounds on me, I held her back with one hand. She couldn’t hide her surprise and neither could I!

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the spiritual realm is just as real as our own. Spiritual warfare and oppression abound, and there are broken areas in our lives that need the healing that only comes from Jesus.

Over time, surrounded by the Body of Christ, Mary began to heal. She began to believe that unclean spirits are subject to the authority of Christ. She began to understand that the love of God was bigger and more powerful than any hurt or trauma. Mary went through a discipleship school, went on multiple mission trips, and eventually became a nurse, serving people with great tenderness and compassion.

Mary impacted my life. She showed me that when we open up our broken places to Jesus, He is fully able to make all of the wrong things right. Her life proved to me that no one is too far gone for redemption, and that the Good News of Christ is truly Good news for all people.

All things are subject to Him. The Father has given His Son rule over the works of His hands.

Have you fallen away from trusting that Christ is bigger than your problems? Take them to Him. Dump them before Him. Let Him help you sort them out.

Shannon Evans is a Protestant missionary turned Catholic convert who lived to tell the tale. An adoptive and biological mom of three boys, she enjoys hosing mud off children, scrubbing sticky furniture, and rushing to the ER to have nails extracted from small intestines. You can find out more about her here.

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