Father Edward McIlmail, LC
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.
Introductory Prayer: Jesus,
you are my savior and redeemer; I believe that you
want to hear from me. I approach you in
confidence and offer this prayer for those who are afraid
to draw near to you.
me, Jesus, a deeper faith in your power to heal
me and my loved ones.
1. Awaiting Our Move: We note
that the official´s faith moves Jesus to action. Remarkable!
The Son of God accommodates a mere creature, due
to a show of faith. So often we see problems
around us and expect God to solve them without
any effort on our part. God knows our problems
better than we do (cf. Matthew 6:8). Yet, he sometimes
doesn´t act until he sees an act of faith
on our part. The official showed such faith. It was
extraordinary, after all, for him to approach Jesus in
front of other people and ask point-blank for a
miracle. Do I have such confidence when I approach
Jesus in prayer? Is my faith strong enough to ask
him for something extraordinary?
2. Touching Moment: The woman suffering
hemorrhages had great faith in Jesus, too. In her
case, she didn´t express it in words. Rather, she expressed
it in a deed, by discreetly touching Jesus´ cloak.
That kind of faith speaks volumes. It helps if
our words are joined with actions. Petitions don´t always suffice.
We have to act, to move, to leave our
comfort zone, in order to approach Jesus. Prayer is
good; prayer plus action gives God even more fertile ground
to work with. How can I complement my prayer
life? Can I help my pastor with a special
project, for instance?
3. Mourning Has Broken: In Our Lord´s time
it was not uncommon to have professional mourners show
up when someone died. Jesus´ comment that the official´s daughter
was merely sleeping brought ridicule on him. Who needs
mourners if the young lady is alive? We can
be like professional mourners at times, resigned to the evil
and death around us. We might throw up our
hands and think we can hope for nothing better.
We might even be tempted, like the mourners, to ignore
Our Lord´s reassuring presence. We might think: "What! Me,
be a saint?" Or: "Me, called to the priesthood
or consecrated life?" Or: "Do you really expect us
to handle another child right now?" Luckily for us,
Christ is undeterred. He comes to bring us life, to
lead us out of sin, to make us more
generous. In a word, he comes to call us to
holiness. Do I resist such a call?
Christ: The official and the suffering woman show
an admirable faith. I want to have that same kind
of faith, Lord. Sometimes I feel paralyzed by my
problems, so much so that I find it hard
to approach you confidently. Increase my faith and sense of
hope. Let me live as if I really believe
that you rule the world.
Resolution: I will
offer up a sacrifice (or a visit to the
Blessed Sacrament or an act of charity) for a special