Monday, July 6, 2015

“The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white Host.”

"As a man must be born before he can begin to lead his physical life, so he must be born to lead a Divine Life. That birth occurs in the Sacrament of Baptism. To survive, he must be nourished by Divine Life; that is done in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.” - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: (1895 – 1979: American bishop declared Venerable by the Catholic Church)

Gospel Text: (MT 9:18-26)
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.

Like in Michelangelo's famous scene of the creation of Adam on the vault of the Sistine Chapel when God stretches out his hand and instills life into Adam, so Jesus' touch brings life back into this little girl "I am the resurrection and the life," Jesus said elsewhere, and his touch contains within it that resurrection, with that life, with that total restorative power.

The question for you and me is whether in our lives we humbly reach out to touch Jesus with the faith of Jairus and the woman with the 12 year hemorrhage - or do we just "bump into him," like all those following in the crowd, who, even though they were coming into physical contact with him, were receiving none of his healing and transformative power.

There's obviously a great Eucharistic application to this, when we have the unbelievable privilege not only to touch the hem of Jesus' clothes, but receive his whole body, blood, soul and divinity within. We receive the same Jesus whose feet Jairus grasped!

For many Catholics, however, receiving Jesus in Holy Communion has unfortunately, tragically, become routine. Some of us, including priests, can fail to approach Jesus with the awe, reverence, humility and thanksgiving that should characterize any of us when we recognize we're about to touch God.

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