June 27, 2021
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In Mark 5: 21-43, I can feel the press of the crowd longing for Jesus under the hot sun. Everyone seems to have caught a glimpse of what Jesus could offer. I so wonder how they knew. How did they get the word of his identity? His healing touch seemed so different. His very presence seemed otherworldly, yet the earthiness of presence brought hope to everyone there.
I imagine the woman with the hemorrhage struggling to be well. Her body must have been exhausted, her search seemed meaningless after seeking so many doctors. I see her eyes cast down to the sand, her body and spirit rather lethargic. Imagine the spark of faith inside her, the moment in her heart where she knew she needed to turn to Jesus. She was worn down, stripped of energy and options. Also, as a woman, she was culturally powerless, not having anyone else to help her.
Her faith sparked an inkling of Jesus’ care for her. She shyly approached him. I can feel her sincerity, her trust, her patience. “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” I can feel her longing, for all she desired was a moment of his presence. I can see her hand reaching out to his cloak along the roadside. I feel her genuine desire to be well. She believed that Jesus would set her free. Hope made a home within her. In Jesus, healing could be her friend.
In these summer days, we may experience such a longing for healing. If only during this pandemic, we could touch the mystery of Jesus. If but only a morsal of love from him, we could find our way through the tragedies and uncertainties of our human life and the exhaustion of our souls.
We can touch him. We can reach out to him with simplicity, and he will be with us. The Eucharist reveals to us that not only can we reach out to touch him, but we can receive his Real Presence, his loving care and his hope for all of us. We have more than his cloak. At the Eucharist, we also become what we eat, that is as we share in his divine meal, we are given the courage to reach out to others who need help and healing. Jesus invites us then to become instruments of love, healing and hope in our world.
Faith is not a spectator’s sport. This gospel opens us up to healing and also invites us into our world to become agents for Christ’s love. We may first be shy and unwilling to live our vocation of hope in our world, but if we can begin with the inkling of faith to reach out to him, that is all we need to change our lives forever.
I wonder how the woman spent the rest of her day. She must have spun with enthusiasm and her family must have shared her healing joy. I am sure she slept well that night and woke up to an entirely new life. She must have spent days telling everyone. She certainly models for us that all we need is a small moment of faith and our lives can be different.
We are not alone in our desire for healing. It is the world at large that really desires to touch the cloak of Jesus where we are assured of love and his ability to heal our ills.
“If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
God give you peace,