Tuesday, February 5, 2013

“Happiness depends on happenings; joy depends on Christ.”

Joy is prayer - Joy is strength - Joy is love - Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy. The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Christ risen.  - Mother Teresa

Gospel text (MK 5,21-43):
Jesus crossed to the other side of the lake and while He was still on the shore, a large crowd gathered around him. Jairus, an official of the synagogue, came up and seeing Jesus, threw himself at his feet and asked him earnestly, «My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her so that she may get well and live».

Jesus went with him and many people followed, pressing from every side. Among the crowd was a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a lot at the hands of many doctors and had spent everything she had, but instead of getting better, she was worse. Since she had heard about Jesus, this woman came up behind him and touched his cloak thinking, «If I just touch his clothing, I shall get well». Her flow of blood dried up at once, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her complaint. But Jesus was conscious that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, «Who touched my clothes?». His disciples answered, «You see how the people are crowding around you. Why do you ask who touched you?». But he kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, aware of what had happened, came forward trembling and afraid. She knelt before him and told him the whole truth. Then Jesus said to her, «Daughter, your faith has saved you; go in peace and be free of this illness».

While Jesus was still speaking, some people arrived from the official's house to inform him, «Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Master any further?». But Jesus ignored what they said and told the official, «Do not fear, just believe». And He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James and John, the brother of James.

When they arrived at the house, Jesus saw a great commotion with people weeping and wailing loudly. Jesus entered and said to them, «Why all this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep». They laughed at him. But Jesus sent them outside and went with the child's father and mother and his companions into the room where the child lay. Taking her by the hand, he said to her, «Talitha kumi!» which means: “Little girl, get up!”. The girl got up at once and began to walk around. (She was twelve years old.) The parents were astonished, greatly astonished. Jesus strictly ordered them not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.

I think that one of the greatest tragedies in the modern world is that we have lost the joy in living.  We have become so goal oriented that we fail to see the joy in everything we do.

When was the last time you did something without a worry or care on your mind?  For many people, it has been a very, very long time because they are constantly preoccupied about something.  For the woman in today’s Gospel, it had been twelve years.

The woman in the Gospel didn’t have a reason to live.  She was probably terminally ill and had accepted that the end was near.  But then she saw a flicker of hope and she trusted in it. If only we had the faith of this woman!  Jesus’s words are important for each one of us to hear today.  “Do not be afraid.  Just have faith.”

Christ offers us life.  Christ offers us meaning and purpose in all we do.  He calls us each to holiness just as he called millions before us.  When we accept his invitation, we find true joy in simply living.  The modern world has lost sight of what it means to live. We are told that there is a certain way to live and our peers tell us to look out for ourselves.  But none of that satisfies.  We have become so focused on this earthly way of living that we have forgotten what it means to be intimate with one another.  Words like love, friendship, marriage, and relationship have such a shallow connotation today because we have lost sight of intimacy.  Many Catholics and Christians alike would not describe their relationship with the Lord as being intimate, yet if it is not intimate, then all is lost.  If we cannot be intimate with Christ and share our deepest thoughts and desires with him, then who can we be intimate with? 

This is what the woman in the Gospel teaches us today.  It’s okay to be vulnerable with Jesus, to let him see us in our weaknesses.  Only then can he make us whole.  Only then will we discover the true joy in living every day.

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