Peace be with you!
Through the Gospel and readings last week we were given an idea of how important it is to have faith. The woman with the hemorrhage and Jairus approached Jesus in a desperate state of faith and both experienced a miracle—unexpected but never the less hoped for. The woman was healed and the deceased daughter was raised back to life. The accounts of Jairus and the woman also provided a lesson of contrast between those who came to Jesus in deep, sincere faith and those who did not.
This weekend too we are given a lesson about faith but in a different way. At the end of the Gospel we read that Jesus “was amazed at their lack of faith.”
For me, the Gospels over these two weekends work together to form two bookends: a matching set of opposites. In order to grasp the contrast of deep, sincere faith and something less, we have to remember the other characters in the stories besides the woman and Jairus. The crowd that was pressing in upon Jesus all wanted something from him but only the woman was healed. The people at Jairus’ house all ridiculed Jesus when he told them the girl was only asleep—then he put them out! In a way, they put themselves out by not being open to a possibility that was unbelievably good.
This weekend Jesus has returned home and the people are amazed at his wisdom and knowledge and the stories of the great things he accomplished yet, they looked down on him. We get a strong sense that the negative attitude and preconceived notions of the people actually prevent Jesus from performing “any mighty deed there.” For God to do things for us, we need to believe and ask, then we need to hope and believe that he can and will.
A few questions arise for us from the two lessons: Is my heart open to experience God’s plan of salvation for me? Or do I have a plan that God is supposed to accomplish for me? How do I deal with pain and disappointment when things don’t go the way I want? Do I truly come before God in a simple, sincere trust when I ask for help? Am I grateful for finding blessing in the unpleasant and painful as well as the pleasant and good things in my life? These are all matters of faith and trust and we are continually challenged to grow to new levels. God bless you always! +++ Fr. Peter