CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 20 October 2018

Print Version    Email to Friend
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Restoring dignity and life to Israel

The passage proposes two miracles: one, the healing of a sick woman and the other, raising the daughter of Jairus. These miracle stories carry hidden signs. 
 
The evangelist highlight the number twelve. The unnamed woman is impure for twelve years, while the age of Jairus’ daughter is also twelve. Twelve is the symbol of the people of “Israel”, which is a feminine name. 
 
The impurity of the woman and the absence of life of the child indicate, the dramatic condition of the woman Israel whose spiritual leaders are not only unable to cure her of the illness, but feels revulsion and isolates her.
 
Jesus, instead, lets himself be approached, touched and does not run to undergo the ritual purifications. There is no physical or moral disease that justifies the refusal or that constitutes a hindrance to approach God. Before God, all are sinful. But, all impurities are healed by Christ. Only the hypocrites consider themselves holy and raise barriers so as not to be united with sinners. 
 
The attitude of Christ towards the woman is an invitation to never feel discomfort, or flee from those who are considered impure. The Christian is not afraid of losing his dignity or reputation by approaching or letting oneself be touched by persons avoided by others. 
 
In the second miracle we are not faced with a serious illness, but a desperate situation, leading to death. Can the force of life that Jesus gives to the sick still do something in an extreme case like this? Humanly speaking, it seems there is nothing more to expect, but Jesus advises the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, just believe.” 
 
Here is the unheard message: his power to give life does not stop even in front of man’s greatest enemy, death. By awakening the child from the sleep of death, he shows that faith in him can give “life”. He did not win death because he adds a few years to the life of a person in this world. 
 
If faith in him gets only this result, one cannot speak of a final victory. In the end death would still have the upper hand. He has defeated it because he transformed it into a birth, because he let it become a transition to life without end.
 
Then he wants to tell us, for those who have faith in him, there are no unrecoverable situations. In the face of little mistake, commits venial sin, we 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”, we keep repeating, “Why trouble the Master any further?” 
 
To these people who are tempted to lose hope, something can still change. Jesus says, “Do not fear; just believe.” Whoever believes in him will see, even today, all those who are considered permanently “dead” rise to a new life. 
 
 
● Father Fernando Armellini CMF
     Claretian Publications
https://sundaycommentaries.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/13th-sunday-in-ordinary-time-year-b-july-1-2018/
Translated by Father John Ladesma SDB
Abridged by Father Jijo Kandamkulathy CMF