Readings: Hosea 2:16,17-18,21-22, Ps. 145:2-9, Matthew 9:18-26

“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” (Psalm 145:8)

Today’s Gospel passage differs slightly from Mark’s version. While Mark reports that Jarius came to Jesus when his daughter was critically ill, Matthew tells us that Jairus came to Jesus after his daughter’s death. In other words, Jairus believed that Jesus had the power to raise the dead to life, just as the woman suffering from the issue of blood believed that touching the fringe of Jesus’ garment could heal her. Do you believe there is a limit to what God can (or is willing) to do for you? Do you still think there are problems that prayer cannot solve?

- Today’s Psalm says: “The Lord is kind and compassionate.” God alone deserves the title of kind and full of compassion. When we say God is kind, we mean He gives freely without demanding repayment. People may attempt to sympathise with us when we are down, but only God can truly feel our pain. This is why we say God is full of compassion. Even before we pray, God knows exactly what we are going through. When we suffer, God suffers with us (cum-passion). 

- In today’s first reading, Hosea conveys the depth of God’s compassion upon humanity. “On that day, says the Lord, you will call me, ‘My husband.’… And I will take you for my wife forever; I will take you for my wife in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and mercy.” (Hosea 2:16-19). The Scriptures employ several analogies in describing God, such as ‘Father’, ‘Creator’, ‘Good Shepherd’, and ‘Merciful Judge’, but none is as personal as ‘Husband.’ If God is our husband and we are his spouse, there is no limit to what He is willing to do to protect and provide for us.

- Never be afraid of taking your problems to God. It is never too late for Him, and no situation is too difficult or complex for God. If Jairus could walk up to Jesus after his daughter’s death, what problem do I now feel is beyond God’s intervention? Visit the Blessed Sacrament to pray. Begin by recalling instances of His kindness and compassion upon humanity. Then, reassure yourself that your case cannot be different because God has not changed. Also, recall God’s kindness and compassion in your life since birth. If God has done it before, He will do it again. 

- Pray with faith; pray with expectation; pray like Jarius and the woman with the issue of blood. Ensure that your actions before, during and after praying do not contradict your faith. The woman with the issue of blood backed her faith with action by taking steps to touch the fringe of Jesus’ garment. Jarius, despite being a ruler in Israel, knelt before Jesus. It is one thing to have faith, but faith without actions (or works) is useless. As James would say: “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.” (James 2:26).  

- How do we touch Jesus’ garments today? We have already mentioned visiting the Blessed Sacrament to pray. Other practical suggestions include reading the Bible, receiving Holy Communion with faith, and touching others’ lives. When you read God’s word, picture yourself in the scene among the crowd who saw Jesus’ life, teachings, and miracles first-hand. Show kindness to others, especially the poorest of the poor around you. By serving them, you are touching Jesus. “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do so to me.” (Matthew 25:40).

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, there is nothing beyond your power; teach us to trust you more than ever. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.

*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. May God’s abundant blessings be upon us all. (Monday of week 14 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Hosea 2:16,17-18,21-22, Ps. 145:2-9, Matthew 9:18-26).*

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu