While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hands on her, and she will live.” Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples. A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured. Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” And from that hour the woman was cured. When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. And news of this spread throughout all that land.(Matthew 9:18-26)
We all have our favorite Gospel readings. This is one of mine.
I am moved by the deep-seated faith of both individuals in today’s Gospel. I am touched by the human situation. I am humbled by the love that Jesus shows. I am reminded that my faith constantly needs more reinforcement.
Our humanity takes us up mountains and down into valleys. When we are on top of the mountain, our faith seems boundless. It’s what happens to us in the valleys that tests the strength of relationship with Him.
Jairus, the official, knew who Christ was, this is why he humbled himself before him and knelt down before his Lord. His faith in Christ was absolutely unshakable. Likewise, the mother. She had such faith in Christ that she knew if only she could touch His cloak, that she would be healed. Even though this woman had lived in pain and suffering for many years, she found hope in Christ, and did not let anything stop her from reaching Him.
But where do we start? We begin by holding on to the belief that God never overlooks us or does not take an interest in our lives, our needs, or our sufferings. We are always present to him, and he constantly cares for us. This is the God who created us. This is the God who every day waits for the response of our love.
Even when surrounded by large crowds, today’s scripture reminds us that Jesus is interested in each person. No one is anonymous to him. In a group of one hundred souls, Jesus is interested in one hundred of them.
But how do we build that faith, that gratitude? It comes through our constantly working at it . . . with prayer, with scripture, with the sacraments, with surrounding ourselves with people who share our values and our faith. It comes from reexamination of the events in our life and looking for the presence of God. Recognizing that He was always present and giving us His strength and His comfort. It’s understanding that the tragedies of life are caused by the human condition but the ability to move through them comes from Him.
It comes from understanding that Faith – belief in Jesus as Savior, trust in his goodness and omnipotence – unleashes the transforming power of God’s grace in our lives. God is not a Coke machine – we don’t pay the price of a few rote prayers and rituals, press a button, and get divine grace in exchange. God is a person; faith is our relationship with that person. We are created to know and love him and to share in his knowledge and love, but to do that we have to trust in him. We have to take him at his word, just as we have to do with anyone else, we want to let into our lives.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, I know that no matter how bad things look, you are still at my side. I know that even when I can see only darkness with my reason, your light shines through my faith. Yet, in times of trouble, it is so hard to see your light. Lord Jesus, increase my faith. Teach me to see all things as you see them, and to see you in all things.”
The challenges of the two people in today’s Gospel brought them closer to God. Although it is a challenging concept to look at our failures through God’s eyes, we are able to see some of our lives’ greatest learning experiences this way. Next time that Christ demonstrates a different perspective in our lives such as, “the girl is not dead but sleeping” we must refrain from ridiculing him, but recognize that Christ has a better perspective than we do and we should trust him just as both people did..