We spend so much time and energy thinking about the many things we need and the many more things we want. But what happens after we get them?  After getting a job, paperwork must be completed. When a house is purchased, rooms need to be painted and moving plans need to be made. After getting a new electronic gadget, instructions need to be read.

But after being healed by Jesus – whether externally or internally – what happens next? Today’s gospel reading gives us some clues about what happens to people after they encounter Christ. After being healed, Simon’s mother-in-law got up and waited on Jesus and his friends (and possibly the “whole town”). After people were healed or demons driven out of them, “everyone” was looking for Jesus. After the apostles experienced others being healed, they “pursued” Jesus and followed him throughout the whole of Galilee.

Encounters with Jesus inspire us to more deeply seek out Jesus. This heart-felt yearning emboldens us to pursue Jesus, follow him wherever he leads, and serve others.

And perhaps, while following Jesus, we may go to our own deserted places and spend time in prayer.

—John Moriconi, S.J. is a Jesuit brother who serves as provincial secretary for the Chicago-Detroit Jesuit province.