When I was still in formation under the Camillians—followers of St. Camillus de Lellis, also known as the “Ministers of the Infirm”—we were formed to love the poor and the sick. Wherever there are sick people, there is God. “The poor and the sick are the heart of God, and that in serving, we serve Jesus Christ.” This is one of the virtues inculcated a Camillian. But to realize it, we must experience firsthand serving the sick. Hence, every Sunday, we would go to different apostolate areas. In my five years of formation, I was able to experience serving the sick, the dying, and the poor. It was not easy!
Being with them also built friendships. This made it difficult to leave. It was in our orientation to be careful and refrain from being attached to them. We must always be ready to extend our service to anyone.
The Gospel today narrates the healing ministry of Jesus. The people did not want Him to leave, but Jesus knew that others needed Him too. Hence, He must also go. I believe Jesus had the same dilemma. It was also difficult for him to leave the people who needed Him because He had already established relationships with them. But it was clear to Him that others also needed Him, and that was God’s will, so he must fulfill the Father’s will. Jesus showed that healing is for everyone and that He is for all. Jesus was not exclusive.
As a priest-in-process, being available to everyone and extending service to others is a challenge for me. I believe that this is also a challenge for all Christians. Let us refrain from exclusivity, for it will only hinder us from extending God’s love and mercy to others.
By: Sem. Niñonel Setosta
After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon.
Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever,
and they interceded with him about her.
He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.
She got up immediately and waited on them.
At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases
brought them to him.
He laid his hands on each of them and cured them.
And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.”
But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak
because they knew that he was the Christ.
At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place.
The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him,
they tried to prevent him from leaving them.
But he said to them, “To the other towns also
I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God,
because for this purpose I have been sent.”
And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.