JULY 5. Ord Time B. Wk 14. Mon. Mt 9. 18-26
While Jesus was speaking, up came one of the officials, who bowed low in front of him and said, ‘My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and her life will be saved.’ Jesus rose and, with his disciples, followed him. Then from behind him came a woman, who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years, and she touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, ‘If I can only touch his cloak I shall be well again.’ Jesus turned round and saw her; and he said to her, ‘Courage, my daughter, your faith has restored you to health.’ And from that moment the woman was well again.
When Jesus reached the official’s house and saw the flute-players, with the crowd making a commotion he said, ‘Get out of here; the little girl is not dead, she is asleep.’ And they laughed at him. But when the people had been turned out he went inside and took the little girl by the hand; and she stood up. And the news spread all round the countryside.
Today’s Gospel is a powerful lesson in the beauty of Faith, with two individuals bearing testimony to the Faith that dwelt in their hearts.
Of all the gifts God bestows on his people there is none greater than Faith, which is the highest form of knowledge available to man as, at its centre, is his relationship with his Creator!
And it needs to be emphasised it is a gift! No man can give himself Faith; - it is a gift that only grows via Prayer, Sacrament and Devotion to Mary, the Mother of God; - and our mother!
Certainly, it is received at Baptism, but at that point it is small, weak and fragile, and needs to be cared for; - in the same way as any plant in a hostile environment; - which is certainly an accurate description of the modern world.
And for one’s Faith to grow and reach its potential this care has to be ongoing and constant as it demands rejection of the world’s values if it is to grow into a loving relationship with God.
And this is where Faith leads; - to an intimate and personal relationship with God that begins on earth, but will only reach its fulfillment in Heaven; - where we will dwell in God, and God will dwell in us; - something that becomes possible when we begin to live a “spiritual” life!
This intimate union with God is where our Faith is designed to lead us to; - a union that begins on earth, but can only reach its fulfillment in heaven, where we will see and know God as he is; - and Faith will no longer be necessary!
We only have to look at the two examples of Faith in today’s Gospel to see that both of them were acting with firm conviction, and that God was already dwelling within them!
The official’s daughter was dead; - and yet he still turned to Jesus with Faith and Love; - “Bowing low in front of him and proclaiming ‘my daughter has just died; - but come and lay your hand on her and her life will be saved!’”
While the woman with the haemorrhage did not even talk to Jesus; - coming up behind him and touching his cloak; - saying to herself; - ‘If I can only touch his cloak I will be well again!’
Both are examples of a strong Faith; - bearing the fruit of an intimate and loving relationship!
Gospel Acclamation cf.2Tm1:10
Our Saviour Jesus Christ has done away with death
and brought us life through his gospel.