“Heal the wounds”

“Heal the wounds”

The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 28, 2024

Inaugurating his public ministry, Jesus proclaimed this message: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:15). Then he enlists others to participate in this mission with him. And today and the next two Sundays, we will see what that kingdom looks like. For Jesus, it starts with freedom and healing.

In an interview at the beginning of his papacy, Pope Francis said:

It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds. . . . And you have to start from the ground up. (“A Big Heart Open to God,” 2013)

The pope asks us to follow Jesus’s example and start not with abstract ideas or theological treatises but with people’s wounds. If we want to preach the good news so that people believe it, are astonished by it, and find hope in it, we have to make sure it sounds like good news!

Jesus taught with authority because he freed people from their suffering. What is our world suffering from today? What is our society possessed by? How will we name that and free ourselves and others so the Gospel can be heard?

Photo Credit: Barbasa from Getty Images Pro.

Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:

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