Busyness – it is truly the character of our lives. The little piece of Mark’s Gospel that we hear this Sunday (Mk.1:29-39) expresses this as part of the life and ministry of Jesus. Jesus has just left the Synagogue where he had been speaking and had healed a person. Now he goes to the house of two of his disciples, Simon and Andrew. Immediately they tell him that Simon’s mother-in-law was ill. He goes directly to her and heals her.
Shortly after that, when Sabbath was over at sunset, they brought a host of others in need of healing. We can imagine the crowd around the door. Jesus healed many again. Early the next morning Jesus went apart to pray. His disciples soon were chasing after him. They reported that everyone was looking for him. Jesus proposed that they moved on to other places and there he continued to proclaim the message of God’s Reign. As elsewhere, he also healed those in need.
All these many instances of reaching out in care and healing people have a meaning attached to them. Jesus not only preaches the nearness of the Reign of God. He also reveals that reign is truly present among us and around us. God’s dream is that all creation be saved from death, evil and sin, that it be restored to wholeness. Each healing represents this movement to wholeness, each in its own way. This is the ministry of Jesus.
The disciples with Jesus are following a call to do as he does. Their lives are a call to listen, to watch, to imitate and to undertake the same mission. Their mission will be busy. It will be filled with demands and will also have moments of prayer and restoration. The mission will not always be following their own plan. Often, like Jesus, they will be responding to the occasions that come to them – at the time unexpectedly and often in unplanned ways.
In the midst of our own busyness, God’s Reign enters our lives and calls us to respond. It will not always be convenient. It will not be when we plan to receive it. It will challenge us and it will fulfill us. It is an invitation to be part of God’s Dream, to help build the Reign as Jesus did. To do so, we work with the busy schedules that we all have. They do not stand in the way. Rather, this is the life in which we are to be disciples. Like Jesus, our busyness will be the place where we work.
~ Question ~
What are the busy things that we must work with to pray, to care,
to serve as disciples?