Today’s Gospel shows us Jesus’ compassion for those who are suffering. He cures Simon’s mother-in-law of a fever, and restores her to health. He goes on to heal many people in the town of Capernaum who are afflicted by sickness, or possessed by devils. But even when Jesus is working miracles and healing the sick, he doesn’t seek glory for himself. He won’t allow the devils to speak, because they know who he is – he doesn’t yet want to be recognised as the Messiah, and he doesn’t want the crowds to flock to him simply as a wonder-worker. Jesus wants the people to understand that his cures and miracles are signs of God’s salvation coming into the world. The response that he seeks is one of faith.
After a long day of teaching and healing, Jesus goes off to a lonely place to pray. His ministry is founded on his intimate relationship with his Father, and he needs to spend time alone in prayer, before he goes out again to preach. As disciples of Christ, we should be people of prayer, of witness and of service, as Jesus himself is.