13th Sunday Ordinary Time

“Your faith has saved you.”

“Do not be afraid, just have faith”

These are the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel. In response to serious illness and in response to even death itself Jesus directs us to have faith. It overcomes fear. It overcomes sickness. It overcomes death. It brings forth healing. It brings forth life. So therefore what exactly is faith?

In the English language faith is one of those words that has many meanings to many people. It is akin to the word love. We say that we love our spouse or we love our children. And then we turn around and say we love ice cream. Does this word have the same meaning for our children as it does for ice cream? Of course not. So what about the word faith? What does this mean?

Theologically the word faith is defined as the “consent of one’s will to God”. It is our assent to God. It means we GIVE our assent to God. As opposed to dissent. We know what it is to give our dissent. It means we disagree or we simply say “no” to something. To give our assent means we say “yes” to something. So to say it quite plainly, faith is defined as saying “yes” to God. Think of the great “yes” that Mary gave to God. In the Gospel of Luke, Mary was invited by the angel Gabriel to be part of God‘s plan. She did not understand it. She had fear. But she trusted God. And she gave her great “yes” to God‘s plan.

In today’s Gospel, we have a woman who has suffered a serious illness for 12 years. She has faith in the healing of Jesus. More importantly, she has faith in God‘s desire to love her and to make her whole. Jesus tells her – her faith has saved her. So if faith is saying “yes” to God‘s plan, what does this woman say “yes” to? She says “yes” to Jesus being God. She says “yes” to Jesus being the Messiah – the One Who saves. She says “yes” that Jesus is ABLE as God to heal her. She says “yes” that Jesus is WILLING as God to heal her. She says “yes” to God healing her. She says “yes” to God loving her. She says “yes” to believing in God‘s love for her. This was remarkable for this woman. At the time of Jesus, because of her illness, she would have been told that she was a bad woman being punished by God. That was the mentality of the day. But she said “no” to that. And she said “yes” to God‘s love for her.

Do we say “yes” to God‘s love for us? Do we say “yes” to God‘s plan for us? Do we allow God‘s plan to overcome any fear we might have? Do we trust in God? Is our trust stronger than our anxiety?

Jesus brought the little girl back to life. He specifically states, “Do not be afraid. Just have faith.” Jesus directs us to overcome fear with faith. Many of us have good reason to have concerns, worries, anxieties. And Jesus calls us to trust Him. He calls us to trust that God‘s plan will show forth His love for us. Perhaps there will not be a miracle in our life, but we are assured that God is with us and cares for us. Many of us are like the apostles in last week’s Gospel. We are tossed about by the storms of life. We become quite afraid thinking that we will perish. And yet Jesus says to us, as He did to the apostles, “Do you not yet have faith?”

I can personally attest to the power of faith. God has shown over and again that his plan is greater than anything I could possibly imagine. I can say with today’s psalmist, “You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.”

Today let us mark well the activity and the words of Jesus. We call upon God for healing. We call upon God for life. May we have healing in all it’s forms – healing of mind, heart, body, and spirit. May we have life. May we have life to the full – which includes a life of joy, peace, and gratitude. May we eventually have eternal life – fully in communion with God. This day and every day – may we have faith. Together let us trust in God. Together let us say “yes” to God.

First Reading
Wis 1:13-15; 2:23-24

By the envy of the devil, death entered the world.

A reading from the Book of Wisdom

God did not make death,
   nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.
For he fashioned all things that they might have being;
   and the creatures of the world are wholesome,
and there is not a destructive drug among them
   nor any domain of the netherworld on earth,
   for justice is undying.
For God formed man to be imperishable;
   the image of his own nature he made him.
But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world,
   and they who belong to his company experience it.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13

R. :

R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
   and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
   you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.

R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
   and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
   a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
   but with the dawn, rejoicing.

R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
   O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
   O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.

R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Second Reading
2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15

Your abundance should supply the needs of the poor.

A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters:
As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse,
   knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you,
   may you excel in this gracious act also.

For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
   that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor,
   so that by his poverty you might become rich.
Not that others should have relief while you are burdened,
   but that as a matter of equality
   your abundance at the present time should supply their needs,
   so that their abundance may also supply your needs,
   that there may be equality.
As it is written:
   Whoever had much did not have more,
      and whoever had little did not have less.

Acclamation before the Gospel
Cf. 2 Tim 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Mk 5:21-43 or 5:21-24, 35b-43

Little girl, I say to you, arise!

✠ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat
   to the other side,
   a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
   “My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
   that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him,
   and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
   and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
   and touched his cloak.
She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
   turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to Jesus,
   “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
   and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
   approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

While he was still speaking,
   people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said,
   “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
Disregarding the message that was reported,
   Jesus said to the synagogue official,
   “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
   except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
   he caught sight of a commotion,
   people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
   “Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child’s father and mother
   and those who were with him
   and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,”
   which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
   and said that she should be given something to eat.

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