Working for the Word

Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phrasesmother-in-law lay sick, approached, grasped her land, helped her up, all who were ill, the whole of Galilee

To the point: Jesus' healing of Peter's mother-in-law was very personal: he approached her, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Further, in reaching out to “the whole of Galilee” Jesus responds to the universal human condition of misery and hopelessness. But he always does so in a very personal way. The ministry of Jesus is truly about all humanity's experiencing the transformation of human hopelessness through personal encounter with Jesus.

Connecting the Gospel …

… to the First Reading: Job describes the misery of the human condition when he laments that his life is filled with “drudgery”—he feels trapped (“is a slave”) and is “without hope.” This also describes the condition of the people who came to Jesus for healing. Jesus overturns the human condition, bringing hope and healing-then and now.

… to experience: A sick child instinctively seeks the touch of a loving parent; he or she wants the parent to sit by the bed, to be near. Even as adults, when we are ill or down-and-out, we seek comfort from a trusted and caring other who grasps our hand: As the gospel illustrates, in times of trouble we need the personal touch and presence of another.


**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson