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The Healing Touch
Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples. A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” And from that hour the woman was cured. When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. And news of this spread throughout all that land.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, there is never a time I do not require your healing touch. My body and soul long for the perfect health to which only you can restore me. Help me to have the faith to reach for even the tassel of your cloak, to know that even a moment in your presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament can be a healing encounter, every single day.
- Faith Revealed in Humility: The Roman official understood the custom when approaching someone in authority. He knelt down before Jesus and asked boldly for a miracle, for his daughter’s very life to be restored. Likewise, the suffering woman was willing to endure the shame of appearing in public in her condition on the small chance that she might get close enough to Jesus for a healing encounter. Like these two believers, we need to approach Jesus with our pride pushed aside. If we truly want him to heal us, we must get beyond the embarrassment of our past sins and abandon the false facade we put on in front of the world. Jesus knows how sick we are! He will heal us if we only ask.
- Jesus Knows Our Continuing Needs: Jesus did not simply heal the sick and leave them be. Notice what he said to the cured woman: “Courage!” He knew that her belief in him, and the witness of her renewed health would require her to be bold in her faith and in her testimony. He would accompany her for the rest of her life, making his dwelling with her (John 14:23) if she would allow it. Jesus led the revived little girl “by the hand,” offering her guidance even after the crisis had passed. Jesus is “Emmanuel,” God with us.
- Has Everyone Heard, But Us?: The Bible tells of many encounters between Jesus and those who were physically ill or spiritually tormented; again and again, the sick were healed by his touch, his presence, his voice. What, then, explains our own reluctance to seek his aid when we are sick in body, mind, or soul? He is there waiting for us. We may not need a dramatic encounter, a lightning strike, or a violent wind—just the quiet presence of the Lord with us in prayer, in the Blessed Sacrament, in thoughtful reflection on his word. Why do we hold back? Do we prefer to remain “sick” because we don’t have the courage to witness to the healing? Or, like the crowds outside the Roman official’s home, are we already mourning for what we think is lost?
Conversing with Christ: Lord, you alone are the healer our world seeks. Help me to grow in faith that I may reach out, even for just your cloak, when I am in need of healing. Give me courage to witness to others about the healings I have already experienced so that my faith may lead them to seek you when all appears lost.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace, let me actively seek you out, through prayer and meditation, and bring before you the needs of our country on this celebration of Independence Day.
For Further Reflection: Catechism of the Catholic Church 199-202: We believe that Jesus IS GOD, “the one Lord,” whom we should love with all our heart, soul, and mind. “We firmly believe and confess without reservation that there is only one true God, eternal, infinite, and unchangeable, incomprehensible, almighty, and ineffable, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; three persons indeed, but one essence, substance or nature entirely simple.” Pray that we may understand that the Lord who holds the power of life and death holds the power to heal and restore us, to comfort and console.
Dorothy Warner is a writer living in the Washington, D.C., area. When not engaged in writing, artisanal baking, volunteering, or gardening, she can be found working for a technology company or spending time with her husband and family, and all their pets.