13th Sunday: Wis 1:13-15, 2:23-24. 2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15. Mk 5:21-43.
The Gospel this weekend is this:
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
22 One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet
23 and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, "My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her * that she may get well and live."
24 He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.
25 There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
26 She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
+27 She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak.
28 She said, "If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured."
29 Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her afflictio.
30 Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who has touched my clothes?"
31 But his disciples said to him, "You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, 'Who touched me?'"
32 And he looked around to see who had done it.
33 The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
34 He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."
35 While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official's house arrived and said, "Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher +any longer?"
36 Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, "Do not be afraid; just have faith."
37 He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
38 When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.
39 So he went in and said to them, "Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep."
40 And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child's father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was.
41 He took the child by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum," which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!"
42 The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. (At that) they were utterly astounded.
43 He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.
The first reading is this:
Wis 1:13-15, 2:23-24.
God did not make death,
nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.
14 For he fashioned all things that they might have being;
and the creatures of the world are wholesome,
And there is not a destructive drug among them
nor any domain of the nether world on earth,
15 For justice is undying…
2:23 For God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made him.
24 But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.
The second reading is this:
2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15.
Now as you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you, may you excel in this gracious act also…
9 * For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich…
13 not that others should have relief while you are burdened, but that as a matter of equality
14 your surplus at the present time should supply their needs, so that their surplus may also supply your needs, that there may be equality.
15 As it is written: "Whoever had much did not have more, and whoever had little did not have less."
This Sunday deals with that big challenge which we all have to face: physical death! The call to help people and to share wealth with others (2ndreading) is included as a good way to prepare for that challenge.
Of course it's relevant to me that the woman afflicted with haemorrhages had spent much money in vain on doctors! Christ cures much better. This crazy Irish doctor (me) became a priest!
Some people may think that the reality of illness and death, which awaits us all, contradicts our faith in a loving God, but I think it's actually a clever twist on our path of life which gets us to ‘wake up’ and put effort into obeying Christ. The Trinity want to train us. A good sports trainer gets his lads to run and train hard in order to become good players. If they are eventually victorious, then they are grateful for the way the trainer had pushed them on and on. Christ is offering an eternal victory to us! I liked the way some good rugby trainers in my school used to run and train along with us, rather than shout instructions from the side-line. The Son of God himself became flesh And blood like us precisely so that we wouldn't feel alone as we put effort into our 'training'. He voluntarily 'carries the load' along with us. In fact He carries a much bigger load. The way He carried the cross up the 'vía dolorosa' to Calvary represents the way God is continually putting effort into our victory.
Some may complain that if there is an almighty Trinity, then it's them that have imposed problems on us such as illness and death, but the fact that we are all limited by illness and death, doesn't mean that they must be bad! I see them as challenges that inspire us to make effort and thereby they rescue us from the proud, lazy mistake of thinking that we don't need to take Christ seriously. If a solution is offered to us, as is offered by Christ, then it's well worth while for us to put effort into obeying Him. It means facing up to challenges and resisting temptations, but it's for our own good.
All of us have to resist some kind of temptations, and I suppose that that's why we say that the devil is an active individual that inflights death on us (First reading). But rather than some kind of active supernatural creature out there, I suppose talking of the 'devil' is a symbolic way of talking of the tendency inside all of us to avoid the call of Christ when it requires effort.
So the Trinity are trying to cure death rather than having allowed some devil to cause it. But will we allow them to cure us? Jesus undertook death for us in order to overcome death. He opened the gateway to eternal life. We thank him for that ('eucharist'), and not just by appearing at mass on Sunday, but by loving with generosity throughout the week. I suppose that's why the second reading is there today. Paul is asking the wealthy Corinthians to help the poor.
Jesus doesn't prevent our physical deaths, but he opens the door to Eternal Life, so let’s put effort into going through that door!
13º Domingo: Sabiduría 1:13-15, 2:23-24. 2ºCor 8:7, 9, 13-15. Mc 5:21-43.
Este domingo habla del desafío grande que nos espera a todos: ¡la muerte física! La llamada a ayudar a la gente y a compartir con otros (2º lectura) es incluida como forma buena de prepararse para este desafío.
¡Claro es pertinente a mí que la mujer afligida con hemorragias había gastado mucho dinero en vano en doctores! Cristo cura mucho mejor. ¡Este doctor irlandés loco (yo) llegó a ser un sacerdote!
Algunas personas pueden pensar que la realidad de enfermedad y muerte que nos espera a todos contradice nuestra fe en un Dios amoroso, pero yo creo que realmente es una torcedura diestra en nuestro camino de vida que nos hace poner el esfuerzo en obedecer a Cristo. La Trinidad quiere entrenarnos. Un entrenador bueno de los deportes les hace a sus muchachos correr y entrenar difícilmente para llegar a ser jugadores buenos. Si son finalmente victoriosos, entonces agradecen que el entrenador los había empujado a entrenar. ¡Cristo está ofreciendo una victoria eterna a nosotros! Me gustaba como algunos entrenadores buenos del rugby en mi escuela corrían y entrenaban junto con nosotros, en lugar de simplemente gritar instrucciones desde los lados. El mismo Hijo de Dios se encarnó y vivió en nuestra tierra precisamente para que no nos sintiéramos solos cuando nos toca esforzarnos en nuestro ‘entrenamiento’. Él voluntariamente 'lleva la carga' junto con nosotros. De hecho, Él lleva una carga mucho más grande. Él llevó la cruz por ‘la via dolorosa’ al Calvario y eso representa como Dios está poniendo el esfuerzo continuamente en nuestra victoria.
Algunos pueden quejarse de que si hay un Trinidad omnipotente, entonces son Ellos que han impuesto los problemas como la enfermedad y la muerte, pero el hecho de que estamos todos limitados por enfermedades y la muerte, no significa que ellos son una pena. Los veo como desafíos que nos inspiran a poner esfuerzo y entonces nos rescatan del error orgulloso de pensar que no necesitamos tomar a Cristo en serio. Si una solución nos está ofrecida, como ofrece Cristo, entonces merece bien la pena poner el esfuerzo en obedecerle. Significa aguantar desafíos y resistir tentaciones, pero es para nuestro propio bien.
Todos tenemos que resistir algún tipo de tentación, y la primera lectura dice que el diablo es un individuo activo que nos impone la muerte. Pero, no creo que está hablando de alguna criatura activa sobrenatural, sino creo que hablar del 'diablo' es una forma simbólica de hablar de la tendencia que tenemos todos por dentro de perezosamente evitar la llamada de Cristo. La Trinidad está intentando curar la muerte y no es que dejan a algún diablo causarla. ¿Pero les permitiremos curarnos a nosotros? Jesús
emprendió la muerte para nosotros para superar la muerte. Él abrió la entrada a la vida eterna. Le agradecemos eso ('la eucaristía'), pero no solamente apareciendo a la misa el domingo, sino amando generosamente a lo largo de la semana. Supongo que es por eso que la segunda lectura está allí hoy. Pablo está pidiéndoles a los corintios adinerados que ayuden a los pobres.
Jesús no previene nuestras muertes físicas, sino abre la puerta a la Vida Eterna, ¡entonces pongamos esfuerzo para entrar por esa puerta!
Reflections of faith
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