Fr. Jolly’s Homily for Sunday, July 1, 2018

Homily on the 13 the Sunday Mark 5 21-43

 

The theme of our celebration today is total and complete faith in Jesus. And Bible tells us that in faith we receive the impossible, because what is impossible for man is not impossible for God.

 

Two gentlemen suffering from terminal disease went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France: one went home receiving miraculous healing but to the other nothing happened.  In the light of this incident, let me ask you a question; do you think that God is choosing whom to bless and whom not to bless? God is not choosing to bless one and to curse the other. He has chosen to bless everyone in Christ Jesus. The question now is: How do we bring those blessings to our life? How do we receive and enjoy the blessings that are already ours? How do we receive a miracle?  You may be in a situation right now where you know what you need from God. It is nothing less than a miracle. You know if anyone can help you, it has to be God. And he wants to let you know that a miracle is close to you today, if you let him. Jesus is hurrying to save the life of a little girl, and he heals a sick woman on the way.  The first reading is paving the way, “Death was not God’s doing, he takes no pleasure in the destruction of the living.”  So Jesus is doing God’s work; he heals and he restores to life. In today’s gospel, Jesus teaches you how to receive a miracle.

 

Our woman in this story is in a miserable situation. She has no money, no health, no beauty, and no support from the society. The only thing she has is her faith. She lost everything but her faith. Look at what she said. The bible says “for she said, if I may touch but his clothes, I shall be healed. When she touches him, she is “immediately” healed. And Jesus said to her “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” This is a beautiful story.  But it was not written for us to admire the power of Jesus or applaud the woman’s faith. But it was written so that by following the example of this woman, you will be taking the same necessary steps she took towards her miracle, and you will have the same results. This particular woman did two things to receive her miracle from Jesus. First she proclaimed her faith. Then she went ahead and acted on it. So, to receive a miracle you need to act on your faith no matter what it takes.  For this woman, her circumstances, her society, the religious laws and traditions were against her to come to Jesus. For her coming to Jesus required the risk of her life, because according to the Jewish law she was an unclean woman and if she tried to approach or touch a rabbi, she could be stoned to death! She put her faith into action and dared to believe that when she came, she would not be rejected. Faith led her to brave the crowd and come against the social and religious constraints of her day. Even though she lost everything she had one thing- her faith.

When all seems lost, Jesus says, “Just trust me.” In the darkest night, Jesus says, “Just trust me.” It is easy to believe these words when things are going well. But it is very difficult to believe when circumstances are against us. Fear paralyzes us! Fear controls our thoughts! Fear steals away our faith! So Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me! Faith is an amazing thing! Jesus said that a mustard seed sized faith could move a mountain. It moved more than mountain for this woman. All she had was a “hem of the garment” sized faith, but it was more than enough. If you struggle with believing, remember, a little faith is a great start. Now act on it. Don’t let it sit there and wither away, but reach for the “hem of the garment” and begin there. God will help you to grow it as you go!

Actually, two kinds of touching are happening in the story: the touch of the crowd which produces nothing and the woman’s touch which produces miracles. There is a joke which asks the question: What is the difference between people who pray in church and those who pray in casinos? And the answer is: The ones in the casinos are really serious! The woman with hemorrhage was really serious and expecting something to happen when she approached to touch the clothes of Jesus. If Jesus were passing by here today and you had a chance to touch his clothes, would you touch him with curiosity or with a faith that you were going to be transformed and made whole? Well, actually Jesus is here today and you have a chance to touch not just his clothes but his very body. This is what we are privileged to do in the Eucharist. Let us put all our heart and soul into it as we say the prayer before receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.” Our God is a living God! Millions of people around the world from all different backgrounds find miracle healing, forgiveness and love through Jesus in our day! What the Lord did for others, he can do for you.

 

REMIND ME, LORD

(Copyright/Author: Olga Carmen de Juana)

 

Remind me, Lord. I keep forgetting,

that You are powerful enough to single-handed handle all of my problems, no matter, how large, how small, how complex or how simple.

Remind me, Lord. I keep forgetting,

that You are stronger in every way

than my strongest enemies.

Remind me, Lord. I keep forgetting,

that You are mightier than any bad wishes against me.

Remind me, Lord. I keep forgetting,

that You are my protector.

Remind me, Lord. I keep forgetting,

that I don’t have to fear anyone.

Remind me, Lord. I keep forgetting,

that You capable of helping me with anything; I feel overwhelmed by, I feel helpless about, I feel anxious about, or I feel defeated by.

Remind me, Lord. I keep forgetting,

that You are my helper.

Remind me, Lord. I keep forgetting,

that I don’t have to fear anything.

Remind me, Lord. I keep forgetting,

that Your love is greater

than any love I’ve ever known.

Greater than my mother’s love.

Greater than my Father’s love.

Greater than my sister’s love.

Greater than my brother’s love.

Greater than my best friend’s love.

Greater than my spouse’s love.

Remind me, Lord. I keep forgetting,

that You loved me before

I was a twinkle in my parent’s eyes.

Remind me, Lord. I keep forgetting,

that no matter what I have done,

you still love me.

You may not be pleased with my actions or choices, but none-the-less, You still love me.

Remind me, Lord. I keep forgetting,

that I don’t have to be deserving

of Your love but, You love me anyway.

Remind me, Lord. I keep forgetting,

that I don’t have to earn Your love.

Remind me, Lord, I keep forgetting,

that Your love has always been

and will always be with me,

whether I recognized it or not.

Remind me, Lord, I keep forgetting,

that Your love is unconditional.

Remind me, Lord, I keep forgetting,

that I can rely on Your love.