Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: My column

July 1, 2018 Bulletin Cover

Cover art from our new baptismal font at Sacred Heart Church: Saint Andre’s Door, representing his forty-year ministry of porter in Montreal. 


Dear Believers in Christ Jesus,

The gospel passage today (Mark 5:21-43) invites us into the depth of Christ’s healing. Jairus’ daughter is at the point of death. Even though he is a synagogue official, he understands who Jesus is and what he can do for people who are ill.

Jesus also encountered a woman who suffered from hemorrhage for twelve years. I love when the woman says, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” What deep faith and profound witness of what Jesus does for people.

We are all in need of healing and in need of new attitudes, a vital and new awareness of our selves and our world. In the depths of our hearts, we all long to touch the hem of Jesus’ garments to discover that we belong to him, that we are his in his service and that we are worthy of such a healing in the first place. In fact, we can come to him as we are and we do not need to fear his presence. We do not need to think that we should only touch his hem. Jesus’ complete life and love belongs to us all. We just need to go to him with our needs, with our broken hearts and fragile egos.

On the cover of the bulletin this week, we view a painting from one of the panels of our baptismal font at Sacred Heart. This panel is a picture of a door that represents Saint André Bessette, our first Holy Cross brother to be declared a saint. He was canonized in 2010. His ministry was at the door of our college near Montreal, Canada. Our community really did not know what to do with him, so he was assigned to be a porter, to answer the door. He performed this ministry for over 40 years.

In those years as a porter, Brother André became a healer. During the highpoint of these years, he would encounter over 600 people a day. People just wanted a second or two with him. They wanted an experience of God, a simple encounter with the healing touch of Jesus. Reading the life of Saint André, I can feel the desperation of people who needed help. He died in 1937 at the age of 92. Over one million people came out in the bitter cold of Montreal for his funeral. His life reflects our mission from baptism to be united with people’s suffering.

The image on our baptismal font reveals to us that baptism is the beginning of sainthood. We become more authentic in God through the grace presented us in baptism. I hope you will stop by our new baptismal font and pray with the image of the door, André’s door, and the rest of the images. In the next couple of weeks, I will be writing about some of them so that we can all see the connections of our call to service from the gift of baptism.

Today’s gospel shows us that Jairus’ daughter was raised from the dead. Jesus even becomes aware of who touched his cloaked. Jesus is with us, invested in our lives and our hopes for a broken and fragile world.

Saint André Bessette, pray for us.


Fr. Ron

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