Aim: To realise the importance of creating a balance between relating with self and relating with others.
Teaching and healing with authority (Mk 1:21-28): They went to Capernaum; and when the Sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit,and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God”. But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching – with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him”. At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.
Relating with individuals and crowds (Mk 1:29-34): As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
Praying and preaching (Mk 1:35-39): In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you”. He answered, “Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do”. And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
What we admire most in Jesus is his ability to keep in balance time for self and time for others. We could even say that his time spent in solitude is basic and complementary to his missionary work. And so we see Jesus speaking “with authority” because first he goes out to a deserted place to pray. We see him teaching, healing and drawing crowds to himself, and yet his popularity never goes to his head.
Because of his familiarity with self-intimacy, he is able to relate well and comfortably with individuals and their personal stories. Because of his healthy self-esteem, he does not indulge in personal needs and goes out of his way to encounter the needs of others. Because of his self-appreciation, he is not selective or judgemental in his relationships but he pays attention to anybody requesting his healing presence. The “balance”, particularly modelled by the quality time given to prayer, is not diminishing his missionary opportunities; on the contrary, it makes him even more creative and attentive to others. That’s why he says, “Let us go on to the neighbouring towns”.
The first love relationship must be with self. This doesn’t mean narcissism but, rather, healthy love and genuine nurturing of self. The more whole we are the more we can give both to our relationships and to our service!
Personal Reflection and Sharing
As a human being, I am called to relate with other people’s lives.
What is the best thing in myself that I am called to share with others?
Taking time to nurture myself is an essential ingredient in the nurturing of my relationships. How do I balance time with others and time with myself?