Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feasts: Saint Anthony Zaccaria (1502-+1539) Patron Saint of the Barnabite Order, Angelic Sisters of Saint Paul, and Physicians., Saint Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-+1336) Patron Saint of the Poor.
Book of Genesis 28:10-22a, Psalm 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15, & Matthew 9:18-26
“If only I can touch His cloak, I shall be cured.”
In the Book of Genesis, Jacob set out on a long journey to his relative's land, searching for a "proper" wife, and it would be many years before he returned. In a dream, the Lord promised to stand by Jacob and his descendants. Jacob's response was conditional—if the Lord keeps us safe and brings us home again; then, the Lord will be our God. Jacob speaks for his tribe, and he wants God to deliver before he pledges his faith. Jacob demands proof!
The Gospel narrative of Saint Matthew reveals an unconditional faith. His daughter had already died, but despite the ridicule of his neighbors, the official begged for help. He did not speak for a nation; his grief was personal, and he trusted Jesus to hear his plea because of his faith.
Jesus also took pity on the woman who was suffering hemorrhages for twelve years. The unending condition probably sapped her strength and isolated her from her family and community. She was seen as an object of fear, believed to be contaminated. Who would take pity on her? It took all her courage to reach out and touch Jesus. How fitting that this forbidden act brought healing. For Jesus, no one is an outcast, and every sinner is beloved.
Today, our prayer might be to ask God to give us the ability to share in the confidence of Jesus as displayed by the official and the women in the Gospel. We must see God in all those who might regard as impure, handicapped, homeless, or poor. May God give them the strength to endure their plight and enable us to help them in every way we can.
Question of the Day: How will you reach out and help those who are in need?
Prayer: "Greater love has no one than to lay down his life for his friends." John 15-13.