— Saint Gregory the Great —
Pope and Doctor of the Church
Ordinary Time Week 22: Wednesday

“After he left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon.* Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her.” (Luke 4:38)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria reflects on this verse from today’s Gospel, writes:

“Jesus laid his hands upon the sick one by one and freed them from their malady. He demonstrated that the holy flesh, which he had made his own and endowed with godlike power, possessed the active presence of the might of the Word. He intended us to learn that, although the only-begotten Word of God became like us, yet he is nonetheless God. He wants us to know that he is easily able, even by his own flesh, to accomplish all things. His body was the instrument by which he performed miracles.”

Jesus, then, entered Peter’s house, where a woman was lying stretched upon a bed, exhausted with a violent fever. As God, he might have said, “Put away the disease, arise,” but he adopted a different course of action. As a proof that his own flesh possessed the power of healing, because it is the flesh of God, he touched her hand. “Immediately,” it says, “the fever left her.” Let us therefore also receive Jesus. When he has entered into us and we have received him into mind and heart, then he will quench the fever of unbefitting pleasures. He will raise us up and make us strong, even in spiritual things, so that we might serve him by performing those things that please him. But observe again, I ask, how great is the usefulness of the touch of his holy flesh. For it both drives away diseases of various kinds, and a crowd of demons, and overthrows the power of the devil. It heals a very great multitude of people in one moment of time. Although he was able to perform these miracles by a word and the preference of his will, yet to teach us something useful for us, he also lays his hands upon the sick. For it was necessary, most necessary, for us to learn that the holy flesh which he had made his own was endowed with the activity of the power of the Word by his having implanted in it a godlike might. Let it then take hold of us, or rather let us take hold of it by the mystical “giving of thanks.” May we do this so that it might free us also from the sicknesses of the soul, and from the assault and violence of demons. (Commentary on Luke, «Homily 12»)

O God,
Who care for Your people with gentleness
and rule them in love,
through the intercession of Pope Saint Gregory,
endow, we pray, with a spirit of wisdom
those to whom You have given authority to govern,
that the flourishing of a holy flock
may become the eternal joy of the shepherds.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen