The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Naveen Rebello SVD – Rome
Monday 14th Week in Ordinary Time
Have you ever given up on life because of a severe illness or a job loss, or a financial crisis? Have you ever given up hope because of the death of a loved one or failure of a love relationship, or depression? If yes, let today’s liturgical readings persuade you not to give up!
Today’s Gospel begins with the plea of an official who does not give up hope despite the death of his daughter, beseeching the Lord to “…come and lay your hand on her and she will live.” Trusting entirely in divine power, he recognizes that Jesus’ touch alone can raise his daughter and grant her new life.
On his way, an anonymous woman suffering hemorrhage for twelve years follows Jesus believing that even touching the fringe of his cloak would heal her. She does not give up! As a result, she is healed by her profound faith and not merely by her magic touch, even though it becomes a conduit for healing. Given her physical condition which made her socially excluded and ritually impure, her deliberate touch does not render Jesus unclean or impure but instead restores her physically and reinstates her socially.
Finally, having reached the official’s house and despite all commotion and mockery around, Jesus takes the little girl by her hand and raises her to life. Through his touch, the divine life-giving power is displayed when humans are helpless before insurmountable challenges. For when human need meets divine grace, miracles happen, provided we do not give up!
A similar theme is accentuated in the first reading from the prophet Hosea: the God of Israel does not give up on his people but promises them redemption despite their covenantal infidelity.
Given the uncertainties of life, it is easy to give up as students, or as young professionals, or as married persons. However, the liturgical readings teach us to be patient and persevering and approach the Lord of surprises with sincere faith. Robert Schuller once said, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”