July 8, 2019

Gospel MT 9:18-26

While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward,
knelt down before him, and said,
“My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand 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.
Today’s gospel prompts me to think about “faith”.
Both the official and the hemorrhaging woman had faith. 

The official said, My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.”

The woman who suffered from hemorrhages for twelve years
said to herself, If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.”

There are no question marks in today’s gospel. The official and the woman both spoke with a certainty: “she will live”…..”I will be cured.”

In Matthew 9, as Jesus was about to heal the two blind men, he said,
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened.
What is my faith based on? Do I believe that God will answer my prayers?
I am reminded of my mother who raised eight children by herself on welfare. She had a wonderful relationship with Jesus and the Blessed Mother. She constantly peppered us kids with her “good sayings.”
One of her most used sayings was, “God helps those who help themselves.”
I don’t often think of asking God to perform a miracle for me.
But, I always ask God to help me in any effort I am involved in to accomplish His work.
I see us as being in partnership with God: He inspires us to do a good work and then He gives us the means to accomplish it.
When we tire and falter, we turn to Him and ask for help: His spirit then gives us strength.
As our late, dear friend Father Joe Callahan would often pray as our group gathered around the altar, “Lord, we’ll row, You steer and we’ll get there together.”
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9