This reflection will help youth consider their response to the graces they receive from our Lord. What do we do when we are healed?
Today we are going to talk about sickness and healing and recovery.
- Have you ever been so sick that you couldn’t get out of bed?
- What were some things you missed doing when you were sick? (Youth who have never been that sick can use their imaginations.)
- When you recovered and were able to start doing normal activities again, what were the first things you wanted to do?
Being sick is no fun. It saps all of the energy out of us and prevents us from doing many of the things we enjoy.
Read Mark 1:29-39
On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.
When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.
Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.Mark 1:29-39
In this gospel reading, Simon Peter’s mother in law has been really sick with a fever. You have to understand that they didn’t have the type of medicine we have now, so this was a really serious illness.
- Did you notice what Peter’s mother in law did as soon as she was cured?
That’s right, she got up and started serving them. I don’t think that would be the first thing most of us would do after our recovery. “Oh, I’m feeling better. I really want to clean the house and serve a meal to a bunch of guests.” (Sarcasm.)
- Why do you think Peter’s mother in law responded in this way?
Peter’s mother in law responded to the healing grace she received from Jesus by doing an act of service for him. This was a way of expressing her love and gratitude. Instead of doing something for herself, she chose to do something for Jesus.
Jesus heals us in many ways also. Sometimes he brings physical healing, like he did for Simon Peter’s mother in law. At other times he heals us spiritually, from a bad habit or from a grudge we are holding or from the anxiety of a difficult choice we are facing.
Sometimes we just pray and Jesus heals us. There are also two sacraments related to healing. The sacrament of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick.
(If youth have not been taught about these sacraments, you can describe them here.)
We don’t always need Anointing of the Sick, but we do always need Reconciliation. If you haven’t been to confession lately, make a resolution to go sometime soon.
This week, think of how Jesus has healed you in some way. And then consider a small way you can serve him and show your gratitude. Maybe you can be extra nice to your little brother. Make some cookies for an elderly neighbor. Say thank you to your parents when they make dinner for you. Call your grandmother. When we return next week, you can share what you did.