Fr Thomas’ Reflection for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus Brings Joy & New Life

Corona is back in Sydney. This time it is a more dangerous variant. Once again, we are to observe the 4 square meter rule and mask up everywhere. The unexpected spread of the virus has made us delay our Confirmation program and cancel singing. Many of the holiday programs are in turmoil. I myself have been planning a trip to Perth this week, only to end up in disappointment. I have taken the first dose of vaccine. Until a cure is found for COVID, vaccines and hygiene are the best we can do to keep our life safe.

The Gospel of Mark speaks of two healings (Mark 5:21-43). A woman who was suffering from haemorrhage for 12 years reached out to Jesus for healing. Jesus was also called to heal a twelve-year-old girl. By the time Jesus got to her house, she was dead. But Jesus brought her back to life. Is there anything in common between the Gospel stories of the sick and COVID?

The woman with haemorrhage was considered ritually unclean and no one let alone any religious leader should touch her. It was not just a physical illness that was the problem here. This woman had lost her dignity before the community. It is dignity or lack of it that can make or break your life. This woman trusted in Jesus to regain her lost dignity. Therefore, she approached Jesus. Though many people brushed against Jesus, this woman touched Jesus with faith. And Jesus cured her of the illness that caused her loss of dignity. Now her life was whole again and she was called ‘daughter’. Like many, you too may have brushed with Jesus many times. But can you think of a time or occasion when you wanted God to make your life whole and touched Jesus with faith.

Jairus’ daughter was twelve, a marriageable age according to the tradition of the time. Instead of starting a new life, she was losing hers. But Jairus had faith in Jesus that he was the Lord of Life. Though many made fun of his appeal, Jesus brought joy to the father and new life to the girl whom he called dearly, ‘talitha’ (kid). Can you recollect a time when you turned to Jesus in dire need and Jesus brought joy and new life?

COVID-19 causes a lot of inconvenience, but it does not stop you from living a life of wholeness. But there are a lot of other things that could affect the wholeness and dignity of your life. When you become aware of the things that affect the wholeness of your life don’t just brush with Jesus; but reach out to him and he will touch you and make you whole again.  Jesus will bring you joy and new life.