First Reading: Hos 2:14bc. 15cd-16. 19-20; Psalm: 145 R. v. 8a; Gospel: Mt 9:18-26
THE FAITH AND COURAGE TO DO EXPLOITS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The two miracles recorded in the gospel of today wouldn’t have been possible or permitted by any Jew on a normal day. The ruler who came to Jesus, Jairus by name, announced the death of his daughter and wanted Jesus to come with him and lay hand upon her that she may be resuscitated. According to the Jewish law, touching a dead body makes whoever touches it unclean yet Jesus stood and went with Jairus without any objection. While on the way to Jairus’ house, a woman suffering from haemorrhage for twelve years touched the fringe of Jesus’ garment in faith and was made clean. On a normal day, nobody with such an illness would have the courage to touch Jesus because the Jewish law regarded the sufferer of her kind of illness unclean, and whomever she touches becomes unclean too.
But we can see for ourselves that Jesus praised the faith and courage of this woman. For her to do the unthinkable without fear and doubt demands so much bravery. This won her the healing she sought for. From Jesus’ reaction towards this woman we can understand why he responded to the request of Jairus without hesitating. Jairus was also asking for the unthinkable. He was asking a Jew to go and touch a dead body. And to have left his house to meet Jesus with such kind of request required so much faith and courage too. And this faith and courage was what saved his dead daughter.
The very striking lesson we need to learn from these narratives is that Jesus would never sacrifice human wellbeing for the law. Jesus needs us to have the courage to do the same. Some people fear going against certain human laws even when human life is at stake. They prefer to stand on the side of the law than save a soul. God needs us to be courageous enough to consider the human wellbeing first and to trust in his divine volition to use us in saving souls. Once it has to do with the wellbeing of the human person, we need that courage to overcome the fear of going against certain rules and to trust that God wants to use us to save a life. The fear of losing a soul should be more valuable to us than the fear of losing our job.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, grant us the faith and courage to be at the service of one another. Amen.