July 6, 2020 – Monday 14th Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070620.cfm)
“I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart.” Prophet Hosea reminds us today of this.Tweet
Indeed, the Lord leads us into emptiness, into situations of our life where we become vulnerable, unpretentious, without our facades and masks. It is in those situations where we can hear God the most because of our emptiness like the desert. God then speaks to us in our heart as Yahweh spoke to Israel in her downfall.
There are two concrete situations where God speaks in the experience of emptiness of a person as told to us in the Gospel of Matthew.
First, a synagogue official who was most probably had many doubts in Jesus but was able to hear God speaking through his desperate experience. His love for his daughter and his desperate plea to heal her led him to Jesus. In that experience, God spoke to his heart and believed.
How? The grief and sorrow of that Synagogue official were situations where God made himself present in a very surprising way. God’s presence was revealed in Jesus as he willingly journeyed with the official towards the place of his sorrow and grief, towards her dead daughter. This was his desert, his place of emptiness where he was most helpless. And Jesus got up and followed the man. It was in that experience that the Synagogue official felt closer to God.
Second, a woman who was suffering for many years ended her bitterness as she encountered Jesus. That very suffering in her life led her not into a hopeless scenario by committing suicide, and ending her life to end her suffering. However, the very encounter with Jesus gave her hope that there was something beyond her suffering, beyond her bitterness, beyond her sickness. This was hope for healing, hope for a better life. In this way, God also spoke to her, there in the desert of her suffering that there was indeed hope for healing and life for her.
Moreover, the woman with hemorrhages was surprised at the power of God. Certainly, Jesus had somehow allowed this woman to touch him. And when Jesus saw her, Jesus also treated her warmly and affirmed her faith.
From here, there are two invitations for us today.
First. Seek help. God also intervenes through our participation. Remember, the woman touched the cloak of Jesus. This means that God also does not want us to be just a passive receiver of graces and blessings. On our part, we do something. So take the initiative and realize what we need. Reach out to people who can help us. Certainly, this does not mean that if we are greatly suffering then we can do nothing for ourselves. With our participation and willingness, God gives us the grace.
Second. Allow the Lord to touch us by allowing Jesus also to walk with us in our own desert, in our own emptiness. Jesus took the hand of the dead girl because the official allowed Jesus to journey with him into his own desert. This means that God also touches us through the help of other people. God walks with us when we allow him to by allowing others to be with us. By allowing God to be with us, then, we shall surely find assurance and confidence. Thus, through the love, support and care of our family, friends and community we too will experience healing and a fulfilling life. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR