7 February 2021

Dear friends,

This Sunday’s Gospel tells the story of the healing of Peter’s mother in law. Scripture scholars say that in the ancient world a mother in law had no importance in the ordinary scheme of things. Furthermore, the mention of fever indicates that Peter’s mother in law was suffering from a highly infectious disease. The only remedy that the ancient world had to deal with such infections was to abandon such a victim out into the desert, to die away from others. But, rather than being abandoned, this mother in law the one who had no status is at the very centre of the story, touched, and restored to the circle of her relationships.
Jesus heals most deeply by creating a sense of community amongst those who would otherwise be cast to the margins, whether by the condition of their illness ot the embarrassment of their shame.
May Jesus touch each one of us so that we may be restored. With a touch and a word, he restores us to a sense of belonging. He gives us the dignity so that we, in turn, might bring a word of healing to others.

God bless,

Fr Paul Smithers