Remember those wristbands that young Christians sported some years ago? What Would Jesus Do? That was the question and it might well have been around the time of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic we should no doubt be asking it again. But the wristbands seem to be out of fashion now and most suppliers, like take-a-lot, are out of stock.
However the question is very relevant all the same. I worked with the early chapters of the gospel of Mark to assemble MARFAM’ DAILY THOUGHTS for January, as these are used in the readings. It is amazing how many of them are about healing, about forgiving, about exorcising evil spirits, or unclean spirits, from people. So I asked myself what would Jesus do in the context of today’s pandemic where people are being infected, being hospitalized and dying in shockingly large numbers. South Africa is the African country with the highest figures and has passed the 1 million mark for infections and coming up to 28000. Many people are asking Jesus and the Father for healing and comfort. What I am asking myself is how many people are looking into the bigger picture, acknowledging guilt, repenting and asking for forgiveness.
After John was arrested Jesus came into Galilee preaching the Gospel of God and saying, “the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the Gospel.” Passing the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and Andrew, James and John. He called them and said, “follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” 1 Mark 14-20. Pope Francis: True faith in the Incarnate Son of God is inseparable from selfgiving from membership in the community , from service and from reconciliation with others. The Son of God by becoming flesh summoned us to the revolution of tenderness. EG 88
If Jesus were living in the world today, where would he be and what would he be doing? Would he be part of the Command Council, the UN, the WHO? Would he be behind the scenes inspiring the pharmaceutical companies racing towards vaccine production? Would he support the competitiveness for a profit motive? Would he challenge their conscience to make it available at low cost and free to everyone? That too is what Pope Francis is asking. So what would Jesus do, and what would each of us need to do in response to his message. TR
A blessed New Year to all, and a blessing on each home.
FAMILY MATTERS WEEKLY 31 DECEMBER 2020