Wednesday – 1st Week in Ordinary Time

Gospel – Mark1:29-39

A Labor of Love

Peter’s House, St. Peter’s Church, Capernaum 


In-laws are a funny breed

They laugh, they cry, they fill a need

They’re an extra set of parents too often taken for granted

Another pair of helpers when in trouble we’ve landed.


Much maligned in jokes and song

In-laws bear the pain

Of a surplus of offsprings

A daughter or a son.


They seem to share the burden

Of their new child’s obligations

His thoughts, his actions

His new-found undertakings.


And though it is difficult to always do

Either in speech or in expression

Remember always throughout life

This son really loves the both of you.    12/21/72


Believe it or not, I wrote this for Ginger’s parents 50 years ago!  But it seems appropriate, given today’s Gospel, to revisit the importance and influence of in-laws (parents) in our lives. Today’s Gospel picks up from yesterday.  Jesus has just preached in the synagogue in Capernaum.  And as soon as He hears that Peter’s mother-in-law is sick, He goes to her bedside, grasps her hand, helps her onto her feet and she is cured.

Yes, I know, there is a curious line afterwards where she immediately goes back to her daily chores and waits on Jesus and the disciples.  But isn’t that the case for every mom and mom-in-law we know.  No matter how tired they may be, they put aside their aches and pains to take care of their children and their family day in and day out.  And more often than not, they do it quietly.  Not a word is spoken.  So I wonder if, in this case, she is simply letting her actions be her way of giving thanks for being cured.  Talk about a labor of love!

Are you tired?  Not sleepless night or household work tired but bone-tired, exhausted but not from any physical work.  You lack the energy, the drive, the motivation to do anything.  That kind of tired!  Weighed down by the events of the past year and a half and filled with concern for your family, yourself, your world!  Sound familiar?  And yet, in spite of it all, as parents, as grandparents, as in-laws, we pick ourselves up and do what we must to care for our family.  A true labor of love!

Great Spirit, grant us the courage and the strength to serve You by serving others.  Help us always to appreciate the presence and example of parents and in-laws in our lives!

Point of reference – today’s Gospel reading picks up right after the events of yesterday.  Jesus preaches in the synagogue in Capernaum and then cures the man with a demon.  He then goes to Peter’s house (first photo).  Today a magnificent modern church rests on top of Peter’s house. You can look down inside the church and see those ruins (2nd photo).  The synagogue is just to the left, a short walk of barely 100 feet. 


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