Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fr. James's Sunday Homily: The Encounter

"Christianity is not about a what; rather it is about a whom. Christianity essentially is about a relationship with the living person, Jesus Christ. This Sunday’s gospel narrative tells us that faith and courage are indispensable ingredients if we wish to truly encounter the Lord.

Both Jairus and the woman with the hemorrhage who figure in today’s reading possess these essential qualities. For this reason they are truly able to encounter the Lord.

In the first place, this Sunday’s gospel passage illustrates the depth of Jairus’ faith and courage with these beautiful words: “One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, ‘My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live’” (Mark 5: 22-23).

Secondly, the woman with the hemorrhage was able to encounter the Lord by touching his cloak. The crowds were also touching and bumping into the Lord, but only this woman was really able to touch the Lord. Her faith and her courage allowed her to truly encounter Jesus. “Jesus aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who has touched my clothes?’ But his disciples said to Jesus, ‘You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” (Mark 5: 30-31).

Jairus and the woman with the hemorrhage truly encountered the Lord. Because of their faith and their courage, they were able to enter into a personal relationship with him. The gift of life was the principal fruit of this personal encounter. Jairus' daughter was raised from the dead, and the woman was healed of her affliction.

Let us recall the words from this Sunday’s Old Testament reading: “God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being; and the creatures of the world are wholesome, and there is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of the netherworld on earth, for justice is undying” (Wisdom 1: 13-15).

This Sunday’s liturgy reminds us of Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John: “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10: 10)... (Continued here)

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