Lectionary reading for today:
The cloud of witness are those who endured in faith; those who did not get what they hoped for in their life, but saw it from afar; They’re the ones who are watching us today; we have what they were expecting, that is The Christ with us; in us: Help me not to take the for granted, Lord.
Faith sees what others don’t. Faith knows and believes the unbelievable! The woman with the issue of blood had faith and received, in that moment, the thing she desired. She said to herself, “if I could just touch his clothes…” Jesus felt her touch his clothes in the midst of the crowd of people touching his clothes all round. Her touch affected him in away all the other touches and rubs did not. I often ask Jesus to touch me; but His desire is that I touch Him in the way this woman did.
“Your faith has made you well go in peace, “ he told her.
If I could just touch his clothes…
How did she touch him?
She was desperate.
She tried everything and nothing worked. She knew Jesus had the power to heal her. She believed that if she could just sneak in and touch Jesus’s clothes she would be healed.
Jesus did not mind awkward situations. He never worried what others thought.
“Who touched me?” he asked.
“You’re kidding, right?”
Jesus looked around, “no, no… someone touched me in faith.” Then he must have caught her eyes, “Ah, there you are! Come here.” I can see him speak to her in his gentle way, “go in peace.”
Not only did she touch his clothes.
She touched his heart. I can see him smile to himself, blessed because of her belief.
What about those who have faith and don’t get healed? I ask the Lord.
“That does not concern you, Gary.” he responds. “only trust in me.”
I must hold my faith in tension with the unanswered questions in my life. Sr. Myra, my spiritual director, says I must hold the unanswered questions gently in my heart before the Lord. She calls this Pondering Prayer. She tells me that it is like Mary, Jesus’s mother, who upon hearing and seeing difficult things regarding her son, was able to “ponder these things in her heart.” She allowed the unanswered questions, the unknowable things to be held in divine tension in her heart.
All my unanswered questions are kind of like the issue of blood that came from the woman; all her searching led to the doctors who couldn’t help. This is like our post-modern deconstruction. Since the questions can’t be answered, I begin to tear apart every other attempt to answer them; I am afraid I often find myself in a place of unbelief in my heart.
This unbelief is like those who laughed at Jesus when he said that Jairus’s daughter was only sleeping, not dead. Jesus sent them all away. Their unbelief would be no good to him.
I have to admit, I’ve never seen an honest to goodness miracle like the ones listed here in the Gospel reading. But I have to believe they are possible. I do not want to discount them with my reasoning; with my post-modern deconstruction mindset. I need to consider the great cloud of witness who are surrounding me; cheering me on, helping me to run this race with endurance.
Yes, may we all consider them; the ones who did not get what they looked for in their lifetime; may we set our hearts to “see” with the eyes of faith the big picture.
May I be faithful to continue to ponder these things in my heart.
This is my prayer.