Our Gospel today contains the very short narrative of Jesus curing the mother-in-law of Peter. We are told she “lay sick with a fever,” but the original Greek word meant “burning up” or “on fire.” While it is logical to assume it was a “fever,” maybe it was something else?
Peter was a fisherman and he supported his wife and family by fishing. But, just 10 verses earlier in Mark’s Gospel, we were told he left his boat and nets to follow Jesus to become “a fisher of people.” Could the mother-in-law be burning up with anger because Peter had “abandoned” her daughter to follow this preacher? If so, then her encounter with Jesus enabled her to let go of her anger and see the
situation in a different light.
There will be times in our lives when we will find ourselves in the situation of Peter’s mother-in-law, stewing in anger because of the actions of the other person. Perhaps we feel betrayed by someone we love. Maybe a child does something stupid that we warned them not to do, and so on.
If so, the message of this Gospel “cure” might be that, if we take our anger to Jesus and be in His presence with it, He will help us let it go. Anger is a natural reaction and it comes. No problem with that. The problem comes when we hold onto it, when we are stewing in bed, as was Peter’s mother-in-law. That hurts us and helps no one else.
I invite us to reflect on whether we have any anger, either raging at the moment or stored up in the background, taking it to the Lord in prayer and asking Him to “cure” us of this debilitating emotion. He helped Peter’s mother-in-law: He will also help us. Lord, help me let go of anger and walk forward with you in peace.
Church sign of the week: There is no dollar sign on peace of mind.