Transfiguration – 11th February 2018

Every human being has a need to be touched. Jesus touched he leper. He did not need to do so in order to heal him. By touching him, Jesus broke the law demanding separations (cf the first reading), and so made himself an outcast, having to ‘stay outside in places where nobody lived’.

Jesus often touched people. He understood that touch has its own power to communicate, and that some people need touch for reassurance of acceptance.  Jesus put his fingers into the ears of a deaf man and touched his tongue with spittle (Mark 7:34). He took a blind man by the hand and put spittle on his eyes (Mark 8:32). People brought children ‘for him to touch them.’

Like others, Jesus himself appreciated being touched. In chapter 7 of Luke we have the story that gave scandal: Jesus allowed himself to be touched and
anointed by a woman who was a known sinner.

Reflections for Sundays
God is With Us
Michael Morwood MSC

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany – 4th February 2018

Today’s Gospel is not just about physical healing; it brings the message of hope. Life can be burdensome at times, but it surely would be worse without the hope we have. The burden is not the end of, nor the whole of life. We cannot run from the burdens that come upon us at times, and it surely is a blessing (of the type Jesus mentions in the Beatitudes) to know and believe in a God who is present with us.

The heart of Jesus yearned to relieve people of the burdens they carried, all kinds of burdens. The relief Jesus offers us may not be the disappearance of the burden. It may be more the fact that we have a friend who understands, for he, too, carried great burdens.

Reflections for Sundays
God is With Us
Michael Morwood MSC

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany 28th January 2018

People experience a difference in the way Jesus taught. He did not speak down to them. He did not lay burdens on them, he practiced what he preached. It is easy to imagine the people thinking:

“Yes, this man knows our situation.
He speaks as one of us.”

Jesus knew what it was like to be poor and merciful, knew the struggle to be a peacemaker and to be pure in heart and to keep on trusting God when times were tough. His teaching was different also in that it encouraged people to believe in themselves. This is a feature of good authority.

Reflections for Sundays
God is With Us
Michael Morwood MSC