CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 September 2018

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Rescued from death by God of life

Like all sick, marginalised, or despised people the unclean woman in today’s gospel feels inside her, an irresistible impulse to get closer to Jesus, to “touch him.” “If I just touch his cloak—she thinks—I shall get well” (v. 28).

The woman advances “in fear and trembling,” as if being sick, feeling unclean, feeling the need of resorting to Jesus were a sin.

But, there is no physical or moral disease, that justifies the refusal or that constitutes a hindrance to approach God. 

 The attitude of Christ towards the woman is an invitation to never feel a discomfort, not to flee in the face of those who are considered impure. The Christian is not afraid of losing his dignity or reputation by approaching or letting oneself be touched by all those avoided by others. The only thing that should be of interest to him is to find ways to give life to a brother or sister. If for this he has to challenge even the gossips and malice of the “good people,” he does not have to worry that much.

Jesus emanates a force of life, but not all those who touch him physically receive it. In today’s passage we see that around him there is a big crowd. The crowd represents the Christians of today who are close to the Master. They have the opportunity to listen to his word and “touch him” in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. 

If their life is not transformed, if their “diseases” are not cured and the vices, sins always remain the same, if the cantankerous character does not change, and the offensive words not lessened, it means they remain a “crowd” that throng around Christ without really ever “touching him.” 

They have a surface and exterior contact with him; his word is a sound that enters the ear, but does not reach the heart.

Through the miracle of healing the daughter of Jairus, Jesus wants to tell us, for those who have faith in him, there are no irreversible situations. 

For those who have only a little mistake, commit a venial sin, give in to some weakness, have no difficulty in admitting that faith in Christ can achieve good results. 

However, when you come across people who have completely ruined their lives, who are basically depraved and practically “dead”, nearly all get discouraged and give heed to those who, like Jairus’ friends, keep repeating: “Why trouble the Master any further?”

 To these who are tempted to lose hope, something can still change. Jesus says: “Do not fear; just believe.” Whoever believes in him will see, all those who are considered permanently “dead” rise to a new life, even today.

λ Father Fernando Armellini

 

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