The Gospel reading from the Mass for Monday of the 22nd Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 4:38-44.

After teaching and casting a demon out of a man in the synagogue of Capernaum on the Sabbath, Peter invites Jesus to his home for a meal and to spend the night. Consistent with Christ’s eventual pronouncement of Peter as the first leader (pope) of Christ’s Catholic Church, Christ honors Peter by residing at Peter’s house; Peter’s house will be Christ’s Galilean base for His ministry. Unfortunately, Peter’s mother-in-law is ill with a high fever which caused her suffering but also presented practical problems: providing excellent hospitality was an important custom and her help was needed to feed a large number of people; her fever may have caused fear of contagion among the guests.

Simon asks Christ to help his ill mother-in-law. Just as He had rebuked the demon, He rebukes the fever; she is miraculously healed and immediately serves them. As the sun sets, large numbers of the desperately-ill people crowd around Peter’s house; Christ lays His hands on every sick or demon-possessed person and heals them all. Christ silences the demons who proclaim that He is the “Son of God”, further evidence of His supernatural power.

After working late into the night to heal all who came to Him, Christ departs early in the morning to a deserted place, perhaps to pray, as was His practice. The people follow Him in an attempt to stop Him from leaving, but He departs to continue His mission to preach in Judea.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God and Divine Physician, Christ has dominion over Creation with the knowledge and power to instantly heal every disease and to cast out demons. Son of Man, Christ is the most robust of men, able to work long hours with little sleep. Divine King, Christ is relentless in His effort to announce His Kingdom.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) High fevers can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, heat exhaustion or other serious causes (e.g. tumors, etc.) and take several days or weeks to subside with modern treatment.  Marvel at Christ’s ability to instantaneously heal a severe fever with a word and return Peter’s mother-in-law to robust health.

2) Every man will face periodic illness, some catastrophic illness and all will meet death. Reflect upon Sickness and how Christ Comes to Heal the Sick (CCC 1500-1509) and pray for Christ to inspire you to care for and pray for the sick, asking for Him to heal them, consistent with His Will for them.

3) Many men put their exclusive trust in modern medicine for healing illnesses; while prudent, Catholic men should persistently seek Christ’s healing for all illnesses, especially severe illnesses. Refresh your understanding of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick (CCC 1510-1523) and pray for Christ to help bring those who are sick to receive this blessed sacrament of the Church.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – Saint Joseph

Virtue of the Day – Temperance

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the imprisoned

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To comfort the sorrowful