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Just a Tassel, Lord
Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs
After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret and tied up there. As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him. They scurried about the surrounding country and began to bring in the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for always being at my side. Teach me to seek you with all my heart.
- Jesus’s Availability: Gennesaret was a tract of land four miles long on the western border of the Sea of Galilee, lying between current day Tabgha and ancient Magdala. Known as the “Paradise of Galilee,” the land was rich soil for farmers to grow walnuts, dates, olives, figs, and grapes. A commercial route likely traversed that area, making it a viable place of trade. It was also a prime fishing area on the Sea of Galilee and likely where Jesus called his first disciples, who were themselves fishermen. Several towns skirted that area, but were still a good walking distance away. The place was bountiful, not just for the material economy, but for the economy of salvation. There, Jesus made himself available to all. Do I believe Jesus is there for me in times of feast or famine?
- The Heart of Supplication: Jesus saw the heart of each one in those days. He also knows the supplications that come from our hearts for ourselves or for loved ones that we lay before Jesus’s feet. When we’re vulnerable before the Lord, who already knows our deepest needs, can we let him decide how to answer our prayers? This takes a surrender that will bear fruit in our souls, perhaps more than receiving a “yes” to the particular petition we request. Supplication implies faith, trust, and loving abandonment, the belief that God always has in mind our ultimate healing–salvation.
- Healing in His Wings: The prophet Micah warns of a day when those who are not upright will be judged to condemnation, and those who fear God will be restored. He says, “For you who fear my name, the sun of justice will arise with healing in its wings (Malachi 3:19-20). In these lines of Scripture, the sun alludes to a divine figure–essentially, Jesus. “Wings” in Hebrew is “kanaph,” meaning the corner of a garment, which on a faithful Jew would be where the tassels hang from their prayer shawl. These tassels consist of strings and knots that represent the Lord’s commandments, to be followed by those who wish to be counted among the righteous. We see the fulfillment of this passage as the people beg “to touch the tassel of his cloak; and as many that touched it were healed” (Matthew 6:56). Jesus, as the new law, makes us righteous through grace. Marvel at the plan of God for his people, for you and me.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, you desire to heal me and restore me to total union with you. As I bring before you my own needs and those of my friends and family, help me to trust in your ultimate desire to bring about my total healing, salvation.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will trust that you seek my ultimate good in all circumstances, pleasant or unpleasant. I trust that you are always there for me, working good for those who love you (Romans 8:28).
For Further Reflection: You Were On The Cross, by Matt Maher, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCPsZ-Vi6Ck.
Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi who is dedicated to spiritual and faith formation through teaching, conferences, writing, and spiritual direction. While serving in Ancient Magdala she wrote Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala.
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