Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Homily/Reflection: Thirteenth (13th) Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B

Faith: A Pre-requisite for Healing
Today’s gospel reading (Mark 5:21-43) presents us with a practical example of faith in God especially in difficult and hopeless situations. Here the faith of Jairus and the woman suffering from hemorrhage become a paradigm for all of us. Faith is a pre-requisite for us to receive any favour from God and this faith is a gift and a virtue that enables us to put our whole trust, dependence and belief in God and what He has revealed.

Mary exercised faith when she accepted the Angel’s message even though she did not know how it will come about. Every day, we are confronted with situations that challenge our faith in God. Such situations could be sickness, death, poverty, failure, etc. In your journey towards Christian perfection, faith is one of the gateways we must pass.

To be considered truly faithful, we must pass through several trials and tribulations and still stand firm in God. Abraham had to leave his father’s land and he also attempted sacrificing Isaac, Job had to lose all he had, yet they still believed in God. Today, they are regarded as men of faith.

Looking at your situation in life today, do you think there is anywhere or anyhow God is testing your faith? Your family problems, your barrenness, sickness, search for a job, death of a loved one, search for a good result or for an admission, etc could be this test. God may have permitted this situation you regard as evil to befall you to test you faith. Do you want to fail the test? Please do not fail.

Remember, when God wants to catapult you to a greater height, He first of all draws you back so that you can shoot far into the sky. In the case of Lazarus, Jesus allowed him to die for four days before he raised him. He also allowed Jairus’ daughter to die that the power of God might be manifested. So your present difficulties could be your ladder to success.

But do not consider these difficulties to be God’s original plan for you. Suffering and death are not God’s original plan for us as the first reading (Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24) tells us. Though introduced by the devil, God permits them as a means to a good end. This is because all things work unto good for those who love God. These difficult moments make us stronger to face life, they draw us closer to God because it is only in difficulties that most people remember God and they also make us appreciate the good moments we have had.

Therefore, in our difficult moments, let us continue to seek the face of God. Let us seek Him with faith, total dependence, and humility as Jairus and the sick woman did. We must accompany these dispositions with prayer because it is in prayer that we find Jesus, hear him speak to our hearts and have a deep encounter with him. We need to touch Jesus spiritually by our prayer life and power has to go out of him. This can only be done with a strong faith which speaks and waits for a response.

However, our faith must not be based on mere words, but on actions because for St. James, faith without good works is dead. This faith should propel us to extend our kindness and love to all around us. It should make us willing to share with others at least to reciprocate God’s kindness towards us. This is the summary of what the second reading (2 Cor 8:7, 9,13-15) reminds us. So our ugly situations in life should not make us hostile to others instead they should challenge us to give to others what we expect from God.

Therefore beloved brothers and sisters, do not loose hope when trials and tribulations come your way. Even though they are not God’s plans for you, they have positive impacts. But do not be afraid, God is there for you, He has power over all evil and difficult situations. He can restore health and life if only you have faith in Him and invite him to your situation. Are you ready to invite Jesus to your problem? Sometimes, our situations may seem worse when we invite Jesus, but we must be patient to see the final outcome. On the way, Jairus lost his daughter but at the end, she was restored to life. So many people may have attempted solving your problem but all to no avail. Don’t mind, today, Jesus is there for you. So why not be strong in faith and see your divine healing on the way for God loves you.

(I sincerely apologize for the delay in publishing this reflection)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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