5th Week, Monday, Feb 8

 5th Week, Monday, Feb 8

Genesis 1:1-19 / Mark 6:53-56

Let there be lights in the sky; And God made the stars.


Author Arthur Gordon tells how one night his father woke him and took him outside. As they looked up at the sky together, little Arthur saw a star dart across the sky.

Then he saw a second and a third do the same thing. “What’s going on?” he asked. “It’s a shower of shooting stars,” said his father. “You don’t see showers like this very often. I thought you might want to see this one.” Gordon said he never forgot that episode from his childhood. And he always counted himself lucky to have a father who felt that a shower of shooting stars was far more important to a little boy than a night of unbroken sleep.


Do we hold the night sky in reverence as a sign of God’s creative love for us? The stars and the planets teach us lessons we could never learn from a book.


God the Creator. God the Maker. God the Poet. When with him you look at his work, you have to say: yes, it is good, it is beautiful, it is imaginative, it is inventive, and it is creative. In Greek, a poet is literally a “maker,” someone who can really make things you cannot but admire. This opening chapter of the Book of Genesis is a poem that tries to tell that God created everything. The number of days does not matter, except to say that he made everything and that he rested on the Seventh day, the Shabbat, with the implied lesson that his people too would have to rest on the day of the Lord.

In the New Testament God’s Son is close to the people. They recognize the face of Jesus, run after him, and touch his clothes. They can now see and feel the nearness and humanity of God in Jesus Christ.


There is this saying: Don't judge a book by its cover. In other words, just as we can't say what are the contents in the book just by looking at its cover, neither can we say what a person is really like just by his looks. Nonetheless, we can't deny that looks do reveal. Looks do reveal something about the feelings of the person and something about his heart. For example, the angry look, the hurt look, the loving look, the tender look, etc.

In the gospel, we heard that the people recognized Jesus. The recognition is more than just the physical features. They saw deeper than just the physical dimension. They saw in Him, the look of mercy and unconditional love. They saw in Him, the face of love, the face of God.

In the Eucharist, Jesus shows us the face of His love. He gives to us who He is and what He is. When we partake of the Eucharist, we change just as bread and wine is changed. We too take on the look of love; we take on the face of love. May others recognize that look and see that face in us.


    Encountering Christ:

    1. Famous: Jesus was beginning to be recognized as an important rabbi and miracle worker throughout the region. People “scurried” to bring their sick to him for healing, sure that Jesus had the power they sought. Why? His reputation had preceded him. Many probably knew eyewitnesses who had been cured or seen miracles done by Jesus. And they were disposed by their faith to anticipate the coming of a powerful Messiah. In our day, Jesus resides in every church and every tabernacle in our vicinity. He may even be just steps away, ready to greet us from the monstrance in a local Adoration chapel. With more than two-thousand years of hindsight, we know better than the people of Gennesaret who is in our midst. How often do we “scurry” to bring him our concerns? St. Therese of Lisieux gently reminds us, “Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you—for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart.”

    2. Widespread Healings: The people flocked to Jesus from the countryside, the villages, and “wherever they heard he was.” How desperate they must have been to have carried their sick from village to village, hoping to track down the renowned healer. Many were no doubt impeded by the terrain, confusing messages, and the crowds that surrounded Jesus. Still, they persevered. When they saw Jesus, they did not ask him for flashy signs. They humbly begged that only a tassel might touch their loved ones. Their faith allowed Jesus to work widespread healings!

    3. Only a Tassel: In this Gospel, Jesus cured anyone who merely touched the tassel of his cloak. Imagine the power that emanated from Jesus and the reactions of those who were at once healed! When we reflect on the almighty power of God or experience it in our own lives, our soul naturally responds with thanksgiving and praise. As we pray in every Mass, "Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right and just." According to the Catechism, “Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that God is God. It lauds God for his own sake and gives him glory, quite beyond what he does, but simply because HE IS” (CCC 2639). Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

    Conversing with Christ: Lord, I know that faith can move mountains, and in this case, the people’s faith resulted in many physical and spiritual cures. Please increase my faith. I believe. Help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).

    Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will dedicate some extra time to bring you my concerns, if possible by making a visit to you in the tabernacle.

    For Further Reflection: “For when I pronounce this name, I bring before my mind the man, who, by excellence, is meek and humble of heart, benign, sober, chaste, merciful, and filled with everything that is good and holy, nay, who is the very God almighty—whose example heals me, and whose assistance strengthens me. I say all this, when I say Jesus” (St. Bernard of Clairvaux).


Opening Prayer: Lord our God, in the beginning there was the word that you spoke and everything was created Fill us with a sense of admiration for all the beautiful things you have made. May we say with you: “yes, it is good” and all very beautiful. As people who are part of it, may we respect your creation and give you all thanks and praise, through Jesus Christ our Lord.