Simplicity of Christian Love

First Reading: Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24

Psalm:  30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13

Second Reading:  2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15

Gospel:  Mk 5:21-43

Some people think that trusting God means to expect God to do everything for them in a dramatic way. They look for miraculous healings like those of paralytics suddenly throwing away their crutches and starting to walk after being prayed over, or of cancer suddenly disappearing after a healing session. God sometimes acts that way. But most often he uses ordinary means. He often heals by assisting the skills and of physicians and nurses in treating patients. Doctors treat and cure, but it is God who heals.

In today’s Gospel reading, the sick woman trusts that Jesus could heal her. But she did not just wait for Jesus to come to her. She worked her way to touch Jesus even if just the cloak.

Likewise, Jairus also trusts that Jesus can heal his sick daughter. But Jairus does not just sit and trust in Jesus. He travels a long way to ask Jesus to come and lay hands on his daughter. The two people in today’s Gospel do more than just trust in Jesus. They go a step farther. They do their part. They make use of the ordinary means God gave them to obtain the healing they needed.

This leads us to the question of our prayer life. How do we pray? Do we pray expecting God to do everything for us? Do we consider that doing our part is as important as praying? Our prayer should lead us to actions in response to the needs of others. And our actions should drive us to more intense prayer.

Jesus Christ is here, present among us. His living presence makes it possible for us to reach out to him, to touch him. If we do, he turns to us, looks for us, wanting us to know him more; he yearns to live in us. The faith we show in touching him begins to make us whole. This touch of Christ finds a physical reflection in our sacramental system. Here is a continuous touching that gives life, that heals, that makes two one.

The touch of Christ and the sacramental touch should be reflected in our human exchange, in the touch of this Christian body. We must love one another as Jesus loves us. This demands that we take the initiative in loving. It is our Christian responsibility, our Christian calling to reach out and touch another living person. The physical touch, a reaching out, a smile, a handshake, a hug should be expressive of something deeper, fuller, and richer: It is a symbol of self – I touch you not simply my hand. I am touching you – with my love, I am touching you – with the love of Christ.

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