1st Reading: 1Kngs 8:1-7, 9-13
The elders of Israel and all the leaders of the tribes, the princes in the ancestral houses of the children of Israel, came to King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD’s covenant from the City of David, which is Zion. All the people of Israel assembled before King Solomon during the festival in the month of Ethanim (the seventh month). When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark; they carried the ark of the LORD and the meeting tent with all the sacred vessels that were in the tent. (The priests and Levites carried them.) King Solomon and the entire community of Israel present for the occasion sacrificed before the ark sheep and oxen too many to number or count. The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place beneath the wings of the cherubim in the sanctuary, the holy of holies of the temple. The cherubim had their wings spread out over the place of the ark, sheltering the ark and its poles from above. There was nothing in the ark but the two stone tablets which Moses had put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel at their departure from the land of Egypt. When the priests left the holy place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD so that the priests could no longer minister because of the cloud, since the LORD’s glory had filled the temple of the LORD. Then Solomon said, “The LORD intends to dwell in the dark cloud; I have truly built you a princely house, a dwelling where you may abide forever.”
Gospel: Mk 6:53-56
After making the crossing to the other side of the sea, Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret and tied up there. As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him. They scurried about the surrounding country and began to bring in the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed.
THE PEOPLE IMMEDIATELY RECOGNIZED HIM: The ark of the LORD’s covenant represented God’s presence among his chosen people. The kings, priests and the people recognized this and held it in high esteem. However, historians of religion summarily describe the Israelites as “a failed nation” for they -, mainly the priests, scribes and Pharisees – could not recognize the One for whom they were waiting eagerly, the Messiah. In today’s Gospel the common people of Gennesaret recognize Jesus as soon as he gets down from the boat. They bring their sick on mats and lay them in market places begging Jesus to heal them and they all get healed even by touching the tassel on his cloak. Do we recognize, first of all, our most profound sickness of sinfulness and the need to be healed? Secondly, do we recognize Jesus as our Savior and Lord?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to accept you always as my Saviour and Lord and make it known to others.
THE HEALING PRESENCE OF THE LORD: Today for some reason, it seems that more and more people particularly the young, show a lack of emotional resilience and have excess selfish demands. In an age when we are more connected, people feel lonelier and empty. Something about recent technology seems to stress that, “Greed is good”. In our world economy, the motto is, ” Let greed drive growth; instill the same greed in others so as to boost consumption”. With such a “value”, consumption and accumulation of goods and gadgets clutters both the external and internal space. Clutter is the perfect recipe for unhappiness. Minds cluttered with a lack of emotional resilience, and with greed, is the perfect sign of a sick generation. If only people could find the liberating presence of Jesus! Unfortunately, the mad rush for “wellness” is a search devoid of God. It is a pity that people prefer to throng the centers of wellness-peddlers rather than seek to touch the tassel of the Lord’s cloak.