Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Father Robert DeCesare, LC
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him. There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?'” And he looked around to see who had done it. The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. So, he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, Talitha koum, which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you taught: “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you” (Matthew 7:7). You invite me to place my petition here before you. I believe Lord, that you will hear my prayer if I earnestly ask you with a sincere heart. I hope in your goodness and mercy, and I offer you my love even if it is paltry in comparison to yours, for you are the wellspring of love and goodness itself.
Petition: Lord, help me to reach out to you with faith.
- “If I But Touch His Clothes” Lord, at times you can seem so distant, so far from us. I believe that you are God, all-powerful and almighty. Yet, Lord, I believe that you want me to come to you. As great and as mighty as you are, you invite me to come to you as a little child. How seldom do I seek to reach out to you like the woman suffering a hemorrhage! What great faith she has. All she wants to do is have contact with you. She doesn’t seek much, just a brief moment. At times my life goes by so fast that I do not seek even that. I worry about my own things, and I get so caught up in my own problems that I do not think about bringing them to you as she does. It seems so right and so easy, yet how frequently do I hold the attitude she does?
- “Who Touched Me?” Lord, it must please you to recognize someone has reached out to you. Many times you marveled at our faith, even if it be just for a moment. You were amazed at the faith of the centurion when he said: “Only speak the word, and let my servant be healed” (Luke 7:7). You promised the “Good Thief” that he would be with you in Paradise. This woman believed that you could do something to make a difference in her life, and she sought you out. How often do we touch you? How often do we bring you to look for us, to seek us out because we seek you out?
- “Your Faith Has Saved You” Faith in you, Lord, is what inspired the woman to touch your cloak. She believed that you would make her well. Reaching out to you was her prayer. She knows who she is: a creature whom the Father has made, a poor soul in need of help. She had tried to do it alone, seeking cures in medicine. They only worsened her condition. Now she asks for your help. Not only do you help her, Lord, but you save her. You are waiting to do the same for me if I simply come to you and make my petition. Lord, I believe that by making my petition known to you, I am being the person you made me to be. I am one who is totally dependent on you. I need you for everything. By myself I can do nothing, but with you I can do all things (Cf. Galatians 2: 20).
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I recognize that you want me to touch you like the woman with a hemorrhage did. I believe, Lord, that you are waiting for me to come to you as she did. All I have to do is reach out and touch you. You will be there to answer my prayer.
Resolution: I shall make two acts of faith during the day so as to reach out to my Lord, who is waiting for me to come to him.