Today’s gospel is from the very first chapter of Mark. Jesus begins his public ministry very close to home with the healing of Simon’s mother in law.

This reminds me of a phrase which I heard from my parents more than once as I was growing up with my five siblings, “Charity begins at home.” We loved each other, but many a time it did not show the least bit in our words and actions with one another. Our parents not only gave us incredible love, but they also taught us—maybe insisted is a better word—to share it with each other.

The gospel also makes me think about St. Ignatius’ reminder in the fourth week of the Spiritual Exercises that love shows itself in action even more than simply in words. Jesus certainly models that for us as he starts his ministry of making God’s love known to us, through performing many amazing miracles.

I ask myself today: whom has God placed close to me, who needs love, healing and care? What concrete actions can I take to make my own and God’s love known to them?

—David McNulty works for the Midwest    Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.