Reading 1: Genesis 28:10-22a
Responsorial Psalm: 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15ab
Gospel: Matthew 9:18-26
After a week of Feast days, we now return to the hum drum of ordinary time. However, ordinary time is not really hum drum, which is a tongue-in-cheek way of looking at it. This period reflects the normal everyday life of the Christian when nothing really special is going on but God is still there in the everyday events.
In today's gospel, Jesus raises a young girl to life and cures a woman who has been bleeding for many years. Hardly mundane events. The connecting theme of the two stories is faith. The official whose daughter is dead tells Jesus that even though his daughter is dead he believes that if Jesus comes and lays his hand on her she shall live. The woman with the haemorrhage believes that if she can just touch the cloak of Jesus she shall be cured. In both cases Jesus responds to their faith. Why is faith so important here? Where the person has faith Jesus has permission to work his miracle. Jesus always respects our free will and a person who does not believe will not desire or hope for healing. If faith is absent then there can be no consent to Jesus working a miracle. Where faith is present Jesus knows the person wants help and is willing to accept it. This allows Jesus to show his power and to give glory to the Father.
Faith is the assent of the intellect to the truth that Jesus is God.
If we don't believe this, then we cannot accept the miracles done in our lives as works of God. If we do believe this truth then God will willingly work in our lives. Our job is to grow in faith by observing and reflecting on what God does for us. By reflecting we come to believe!