June 27, 2021 – 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/062721.cfm)
“O, Kamusta na? How are You? Are You Ok?”
Usually whenever we meet each other, we greet one another with these words. Through these words, we commonly express our concern for each other’s health and wellbeing. We acknowledge as well that human as we are, we are all prone to hurts, diseases, and sicknesses. Even the healthiest of us live with fear of accidents and diseases that can suddenly render us limited on the sidelines. Nobody likes to get sick. But nobody can claim that he/she has never got sick before. Easy for us to say “Bawal magkasakit? (It is not allowed to get sick), but tayo ay nagkakasakit (we do get sick). Sickness cannot be denied. To get sick is part of our human nature. So, since we are subject to sickness, it is natural for us to ask about the health and wellbeing of others, especially those we have not seen for awhile.
But what does it mean to be sick? Based from our experience, to be sick is more than just an experience of physical illness but a wide range of emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual diseases and discomforts. Whenever we get sick, we become incapacitated. Normal for us to feel limited, dependent, depressed, irritable, helpless, and sometimes alienated or outcasted from God and others whenever we are sick. We know that it is not easy to get sick, especially when we are used to live our life independently and always in-control. Sickness is indeed a dreadful experience, as what was also described in our Gospel today.
Our gospel today shows us as well that to be sick may be a horrible human experience but could also be opportunities for growth and a chance for life anew.
First, sickness can be the opportunity to be converted. Jairus and the woman with hemorrhage came to Jesus. Coming to Jesus is an experience of conversion – a humble turning toward instead of turning away from Jesus. Whenever we get sick, we usually cease from our usual routine, go home and take a rest. It is in sickness that we break from our selfish ways and turn back towards God’s love and concern. Others would say that when we are sick, we desire and come to acknowledge God’s presence and appreciate God’s love in our lives. When we are healthy, we say, “Disco, Disco” but when sick, we say, “Dios ko, Dios ko”.
Sickness can also be the opportunity to have faith and trust in God and others. Jairus begged to Jesus, “Please come lay your hands on her, that she may get well and live”. The woman aspired “If only I could touch his cloak, I shall be cured”. To be helpless and dependent of others are not normal for us. We rather be in-control and not needing others. But to be sick is humbling for you really need and have to trust on others. In sickness, we surrender ourselves and humbly ask for God’s mercy and rely on God’s providence, and the help of others.
Sickness can also be the opportunity to be cleansed and be healed by God. In sickness, we witness God’s mercy, love, goodness, and miracles working in us. That through our faith and Jesus’ concern for us, God’s power and love is made known to all. In our weakness and sickness, God’s power and glory is revealed to you & to all.
Sickness can be also opportunity to hear once again & anew our vocation and mission life. When the woman was healed, Jesus calls her to “go in peace and be cured of your affliction” which means to be reconciled with herself and others who may have caused her afflictions. The girl is called to “arise” which mean to stand up from despair and have hope in life. Being healed from your sickness is a reminder that you are given another life – another new chance in life to make things right and better than before.
And lastly sickness can be an opportunity to proclaim our faith. Just like the cured woman and girl, our healing from sickness makes us express and share our faith to others, and through our healing, others will see and witness God’s love revealed through us and come to believe more in Him.
Yes, no one wants to get sick. But whenever you got sick, take it not as disgrace but opportunity for God’s glory to be revealed in You. In other words, “A blessing in disguise”. So, Kamusta na? How are you coping? Perhaps God is healing us & through us, God is revealing something better for all of us in life.
During these pandemic times, in times of sickness, discomforts, & distress, let our prayer be like that of Jesus, saying: “Father, take this cup of suffering away from me, However, not my will, but Your will be Done.” Always & Forever.
Siya Nawa. Hinaut pa unta. So be it. Amen.