13th Sunday in Ord. Time
Wisdom 1: 13-15; 2:23-24. 2Cor. 8: 7-9,13-15. Mark 5: 21 – 43
Listen again to Jesus, “Do not be afraid, your faith has saved you.” Do not be afraid, just have faith. Do we need this word of God today or what?
When we look around and see the scope of human angst, so much anxiety today, so we see suffering of every kind. Folks don’t know how to handle it either. So, it results in anger, violence, killing, suicide, deep depression, revenge, mass murder, polarization in our political arena and even in the Church community, look at the inability of our bishops to dialogue on serious issues with any compassion or mercy.
There seems to be no end to the struggles and tensions we all feel. But thank God, we have Jesus, he tells us how to go forward. Do not be afraid, have faith. What is this faith he invites us to hold on too?
A trust in God’s presence and action in our lives. Have faith in Jesus with him we have untold possibilities. But it’s not a passive faith, just believing isn’t enough, one must always put faith into action. Just like the women with a hemorrhage, what courage, to touch his cloak, what faith that comes out of her trust in the goodness, the compassion and the authority of the Spirit she recognizes in Jesus.
Then Jarius, he comes to Jesus to, it appears he walked a long way and he fell at the feet of Jesus ,, what humility and what need he had, a daughter dying. And there he is hearing these words, just have faith.
And we heard those powerful words of Jesus to the women – Your faith has saved you. So why is it that faith in God no longer sustains so many, no longer offers hope. It seems the human community has lost the ability to live in faith, to live in hope, truly to live with kindness and love. Perhaps just human decency would get us there. But so much of society is too busy doing their own thing to pay attention to others and what is ordinarily polite and proper. A way of life that offers dignity and respect to all can led to a real spiritual awakening! These virtues touch the core truth of the God within – whence we came. So why not hold onto the truth that we have God, with us, for us and within us.
Ultimately, it’s the word of Jesus that we need again and again to hear: Do not be afraid – just have faith. Can we have faith in God and in the human heart that wants love and belonging.
Faith lived out bring us to hope and right action toward others. The opposite is despair, that leads to oppression, persecution, because without faith there is no hope, but only doubt. And then we can become uncaring. Because there is no anchor. Then injustice can reign, because we are hanging out there with our aloneness, and what hardships that this attitude can bring upon others.
So, we keep looking at Jesus, as the way forward. Realizing God is gracious to us, and holding us in our suffering. Faith in Christ does that, when we look at the crucified one, he confronted suffering, he confronted the whole human dilemma and transformed it by his faith and love of God. We can do that also.
Faith in Christ brought the early Christians to live life together and share all things in common. There’s the wisdom we need – for the human community to survive. Jesus’ words can help us create the future. Faith in God and now faith again in the compassion of others can build a life together.
We each have a role to play in this story of redemption that must be lived out. Each person of faith carries the grace forward so that it is real in our life and like a leaven brings about new life.
We struggle through all of our suffering with faith. Jarius came to Jesus, hopeful in his suffering about his daughter, the woman came, hopeful in her suffering. We too can be utterly astounded if we look to Jesus, looking to all that God is inviting us into through our suffering.
In these times, we have become so ego centered and these bring about even deeper suffering. The inner turmoil centered around ourselves that surely needs the hand of God. And so to break out of that tortured cycle of thinking. Seeking God must be our focus now. This is our call to faith. That active faith that responds with courage and love, with a faithfulness that overcomes fear. For Jesus, it was forgiveness from the cross. Even speaking powerful future words to his mother and the beloved disciple from the cross.
Caryll Houselander, the mystic and spiritual writer puts it this way, ”in the midst of suffering it’s like putting out your hand in the dark and finding someone else’s hand stretched out to you and somehow knowing that this is the hand of one you love”. And that’s God loving us back.
So, let us hear Jesus’ words deep in our hearts and souls and then have faith and trust in the God who loves you and wants to hold us by the hand.