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Just One Touch
Monday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
After making the crossing to the other side of the sea, Jesus and his disciples 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, I begin my prayer today recognizing that through prayer you enter into my life. I spend my life scurrying in many ways and I want to be calm before you, but at the same time I long to bring before you all that is “sick” in me so that you can heal me spiritually, psychologically, and in my relationships. Bless me as I pray.
- They Immediately Recognized Him: The people in this Gospel had heard about Jesus, and in great expectation they hoped to see him again to ask him for help and healing. When the disciples got off the boat, the way the Twelve deferred to Jesus confirmed to the onlookers that Jesus, the miracle worker, the Messiah, had indeed arrived. This same Jesus is present in our local church, hidden in the tabernacle. How aware are we of his presence? Do we recognize him there? Do we reverently genuflect and make the sign of the cross as a deferential greeting? Even now, reading and praying, are we fully aware of Jesus, before us, beside us, within us? When our hearts are full of expectation, we are more likely to recognize the presence of Our Lord.
- To Touch the Tassel on His Cloak: In the Gospel stories, the most dramatic healings were often accomplished by the smallest, seemingly insignificant actions, such as touching the tassel of Jesus’ cloak. All that was required by the recipient was an act of faith (see also Matthew 9:20). Jesus asks us to have faith in him. “What great faith our Lord Jesus Christ asks of us—and how just that is. Do we not owe him such faith? It looks impossible to us, but Jesus is Master of the impossible” (Blessed Charles de Foucauld). Do we believe that Jesus can work miracles in our life just because we ask him to?
- Great Intercessors: The people of the towns scrambled to bring their sick to the marketplace so that Jesus could heal them. Not only did they carry their ill family members or friends to the town center, (which was probably logistically difficult) but they begged out loud, calling on Jesus to work a miracle. In short, they made spectacles of themselves for the love of those whom they brought with them. We aren’t often called to publicly proclaim our faith in the marketplace but, as Christians, we are to be no less zealous in seeking the spiritual, psychological, or physical healing of those who ask for our prayers. Our Lord is pleased when we intercede for others, and even beg for their salvation. “There is only one thing to do during the brief day, or rather, night of this life: Love Jesus with all the strength of your heart and save souls for him, so that he may be loved!” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, I desire to recognize you in my life today, to see you before me, beside me, behind me. Help me to be touched and healed by your presence. Infuse me with great zeal for souls so that I may not miss a single opportunity to bring someone closer to you.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will make a conscious effort to look for your presence in my day and, strengthened by you, reach out to someone on your behalf.
For Further Reflection: Pray An Irish Prayer.
Fr. Adam Zettel, LC, was ordained in 2017 and worked for three years as a high school chaplain in Dallas, Texas. Now he resides in Oakville, Ontario, serving youth and young adults.