In our Gospel reading today we see 3 examples of people with great faith. There was Jairus, whose daughter was at the point of death, the woman who was afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years and the synagogue official whose child had died. Each, in their own way, faced tremendous challenges to their faith but all kept the faith and believed. They heard the voice of God to: “Be not afraid; just have faith,” because they believed they experienced the healing touch, the healing power of Jesus and were healed. Through their faith and God’s grace, they were healed and brought to new life. This is a good reminder for us of God’s constant presence with us and our call to develop and hold fast to a firm faith in God’s divine providence.
Often in our lives, our faith can be challenged, whether it’s natural disasters or physical, spiritual or emotional struggles – we, like the people in our Gospel, can face great trials. More often the biggest challenge to our faith occurs in our daily lives, when we fail to recognize God’s presence and actions when things are going perfectly well. In the Gospel, Jesus performed dramatic miracles in their midst – the signs of God’s presence, love and action. What about the daily miracles we all experience on a regular basis? Perhaps we, too, miss the signs – the smaller, more common, everyday ways that God acts in our lives. The gift of sight, and of a doctor who can improve it with glasses. The helpfulness of strangers as we make our way to a destination. The smile of a friend or the generous action of a family member or co-worker who brightens our day. In all of these little but profound ways, God is active in our lives, helping to get us through our day.
God’s message in this is simple: trust in him and be firm of faith, recognize the many gifts that have been given to us each day through the actions or words of others. By the same token, God might well be asking us to be alert to the ways we can be of help to others around us – to show them the miracle of God’s presence and love. Whatever our profession or calling in life, we have the opportunity to help others to be aware of God’s presence in their lives, often by simple acts of kindness and service.
So today, as we partake of this most perfect sacrament of God’s presence among us, let us allow it to transform us and keep us alert for God’s actions and embrace the ways we can transform, for good, the lives of others.
In Christ Jesus,