After Jesus and his disciples 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 sundown, 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. 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 neighboring 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. Mark 1:29-39
I think all of creation, all of life reflects the concentric circles we thrive best in. Our years pass in circles of time, our education begins very intimately and spreads ever wider, and love spreads in the same way. Celestial navigators depend on the circular and elliptical circling of the stars and planets. We divide our time, our days and nights completely dependent on the movement of related and interdependent round orbs. Our lives of faith are similarly related and interdependent.
Our Gospel today begins with Jesus healing and love as very local, in the tight sphere of Peter's family house and then moves outward into the wider village. And as he prays and listens to the heart of God, his ministry spread out in an every widening circle. We are invited today to know we are called to ever widening circles of love and healing. As we stay close to the heart of God, we are pushed out to wider and wider circles, always close to the edge of our understanding and knowing. We are promised that we will not be alone on the edge of our known universe, but lead there by the Incarnate one, the embodiment of love and healing.
Today, I ask God to help me move beyond my comfort zone by staying close to the heart of God and being led further out at all times. May we never limit our understanding of a life of faith, by what we know this season or this year. Instead, my we be drawn ever outward to share the love we have been given.