[13th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B June 28, 2015, / Wis 1:13-15, 2:23-24 / Ps 30:2+4, 5-6, 11-12a+13b 2 / Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15 / Mark 5:21-43]end of itals
IN the gospel we have a woman who been hemorrhaging and losing blood for many years. To lose blood is to lose strength. She is in a big crowd but decides to seek out Christ, the Good Doctor. Many doctors have tried to treat her unsuccessfully. Only the medicine of the love of God can heal her. The powerful all healing grace flowing from the heart of Christ cures her.
How great in the middle of the crowds to seek Jesus, the divine healer. When our mind is crowded with thoughts, when our day is crowded with activities, to find Christ in the middle of the crowdedness. What bliss! And how much energy it gives us! So often we lose strength for what we have to do, we lose power through so much anxiety and worrying. Put all your cares in the hands of the Good Doctor!
How much the health care system would benefit if more turned to the Good Doctor. Many hospital beds would be empty. If you doubt this just go to any Emergency room on a Saturday night and you will see the consequences of a lack of God’s love in the heart of man. How many victims there are of hatred, violence, and self-destructive behavior like binge drinking.
Drinking alcohol is often a response to emptiness. Much better to drink deeply the love of God and to fill our heart with the Spirit that is more holy.
Like the woman with hemorrhages we need to find Christ in the middle of our situations of life. As Karl Rahner commented, “The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all.” What he means by that is that the Christian needs to have a personal experience of God in the middle of daily life. We need to find time for time out with God in the middle of schedules that are too busy. The fruit of recollected moments is that we can transmit God’s power, we can focus. We are not scattered.
The supreme example of focusing the power is shown to us by Jesus in the episodes of healing today. There are so many distractions but he remains firm and focused on the task at hand. First he hears that there is a young girl about to die. Then the woman with the hemorrhage seeks him out, to touch him and be cured. There must have been other cries for his help then that the Gospel does not record. Jesus is so recollected and innerly present to himself that he is aware that someone has touched him. Even in the middle of the crowd, with the prospect of having to go and cure a sick little girl at the point of death he is very aware of his inner self, that the power has gone out of him to cure the hemorrhaging woman.
After this he continues to the house of the little girl, meeting one obstacle after another. First he is told that in fact the little girl is not sick but she has actually died. How does Jesus respond? Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the father of the little girl, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” Wow! Jesus does not let himself get distracted.
Then he arrives at the house of the little girl to see mourners weeping and wailing. Further “proof” that she is dead. But Jesus is unstoppable. “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” Then the people started to ridicule him. It is very hard at times to persevere in a task when you are being ridiculed and made fun of. O Lord, please give us a purer love in our hearts so we can be so determined to do good like you. Jesus throws all the mockers out of the house. He makes no room for the comments or criticism in his heart. He has a very disciplined mind, not letting any old thoughts enter. Sometimes we are too kind and let any old Tom, Dick or Harry into our thoughts. If our mind is like a room with white walls sometimes we let in a black ball that bounces around off the walls and causes havoc. Even in the military on sentry duty the unknown person coming towards you is challenged with the demand “Friend or foe?” We need to have a good sentry on duty in our mind. And we need to stop being naïve. Not all the thoughts that come to us are friendly. Thoughts such as criticisms, judgments, or believing that we are already “good” often come from the foe. This is why we need to ask for the gift of a chaste mind, that can quickly “chase” off bad thoughts!!! In this way we can fulfill God’s will and not get distracted on the way to our goal. Like Jesus, who arrives finally at the little girl’s side.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The power of a chaste heart and mind. Lord, focus our minds and hearts on you. Lord, help us to follow your example and keep your love in us pure. In that way we can be Christians who are really focused and get the job done. Amen.