While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples. A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” And from that hour the woman was cured. When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. And news of this spread throughout all that land.
The life is filled with twists and turns, and sometime we are lost in between. Before the death of this beloved child, the father had only one option, of kneeing down before the Lord, the author of life. What a wonderful decision. It looks like, as if, it was he who has approached the Lord. In truth, it was the Lord, who made himself available for him, that he may find Jesus and come closer to Him. It’s really marvellous, to discover, How God makes things happen to us, without giving us the details. The miracle of healing this women looks like, as if there is a waste of time. He healing has given to this miserable and broken father the hope and courage, which he was disparately needed.
And, I wish to make this prayer. You are there Lord, for me to find you, and cry out to you, "come to our rescue." To our amazement, you move for me, simply for me, as you expected me to. Yet you chose to pause, a very important pause for this woman, whom I ignore daily. Give me the grace of your patience, in the face of my miseries, such as the death of this young girl. This girl's father has mysteriously disappeared. Yet he was there, discreetly, observing the events around him. In truth, this miracle was only for him, to give him the courage and confidence in You that he so badly needed to be with You. What a marvel, Lord, you do things that are foreign to our understanding, and we rebel against your patience and your silence. Thank you Lord, for this meeting. May the people around me, through my patience, discover, like me, that you are great, full of goodness and mercy. Amen.
Action of the day: Trust and patience.
“Your faith has saved you”
Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, the liturgy of the Word invites us to admire two splendid manifestations of faith. So splendid were they that they deserved to move Jesus Christ's heart —immediately! provoking his reaction. Our Lord does not allow himself to be won over in generosity!
“My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live” (Mt 9:18). We could almost say that a strong faith as such can “oblige” God. But, He likes that kind of obligation. The other testimony of faith of today's Gospel is also equally impressive: “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured” (Mt 9:21). Both Jesus' reaction and the end result of this dialogue of faith are quite radical: “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you” (Mt 9:22).
We could even affirm that God gladly lets our good faith to “manipulate” him. What, instead, He does not admit is that we try to tempt him with our mistrust. This was the case with Zechariah, who asked evidence from Gabriel, the archangel: “Then Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this?” (Lk 1:18). The Archangel did not shrink an inch: “And the angel said to him in reply, ‘I am Gabriel, who stand before God... But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time’” (Lk 1:19-20). And so it was.
It is He who wants to “oblige and commit himself” with our faith: “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Lk 11:9). He is our Father and He does not want to refuse anything that is convenient for his children.
But we must entrust our petitions to him with confidence; confidence and naturalness with God require treatment: to trust somebody we must know him; and to know him we must treat him. Thus, “faith provokes prayer, and when prayer arises it makes faith strong” (St. Augustine). Let us not forget the praise the Virgin Mary deserved: “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Lk 1:45).