“My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” (Matthew 9:18)
In Mark’s version of the encounter between Jairus and Jesus, he reports that Jairus came to Jesus when his daughter was critically ill and Jesus agreed to accompany him to the house. On the way, some persons came to Jarius to say: “Do not trouble the Master any more, your daughter has died already but Jesus encouraged him saying: “The girl is only sleeping.”
According to Matthew, Jarius came to Jesus after his daughter had died already saying: “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and she will live.” This means that Jairus believed that Jesus had the power to raise the dead to life just as the woman suffering from the issue of blood believed the fringe of Jesus’ garment could heal her.
How strong is my faith in God? Would I go to God to pray after hearing someone close to me has died already? Do I believe there is such a thing as a ‘hopeless’ case? Can I say like the woman that “If only I touch the fringe of Jesus garment” or “If only I touch Holy Communion, I shall be made well”?
Indeed, as our Psalmist sings today, “the Lord is kind and full of compassion.” This is something we must remember when we go to God in prayer, that God cares, that He is ever ready to grant our intentions. People may sympathize with you, but only God is truly compassionate; only God can ‘suffer-with’ us.
In our first reading, God expresses his love for us using marital language: “I will espouse you in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.” If only we know how much love God feels towards us, we would not dare offend Him for once.
Today, we remember Saint Maria Goretti. Born on October 16, 1890 in Corinaldo, in the Kingdom of Italy. On July 5, 1902, eleven-year-old Maria was sitting on the outside steps of her home, sewing one of Alessandro’s shirts and watching Teresa, while Alessandro was threshing beans in the barnyard. Knowing she would be alone, he returned to the house and threatened to stab her with an awl if she did not do what he said; he was intending to rape her.
She would not submit, however, protesting that what he wanted to do was a mortal sin and warning him that he would go to Hell. She fought desperately and kept screaming, “No! It is a sin! God does not want it!” He first choked her, but when she insisted she would rather die than submit to him, he stabbed her eleven times. She tried to reach the door, but he stopped her by stabbing her three more times before running away.
As we remember St. Maria Gorretti, we pray against the spirit of rape in our world. It is an irony what while we protest against this evil in our society, we continue to celebrate an immoral lifestyle. For instance, we dance to music with lucid lyrics that objectify the female body as something made only for sexual pleasure, every tailor or fashion designer today makes clothes primarily to emphasize shape and create sexual appeal, we do not censor what our children are watching online and at home and in the quest to make ends meet, we no longer have time to gather our children for moral instructions daily; we no longer pray together as families.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me to trust in your infinite power and love you. Amen.
Bible Study: Hosea 2:14-20, Psalm 145:2-9, Matthew 9:18-26).