Homilette for February 5, 2008

Tuesday, memorial of St. Agatha, virgin and martyr

(Mark 5:21-43)

The eminent psychologist Carl Rogers purportedly gave this breath-taking yet mundane statistic, “One out of every one of us is hurting.” It is true. No one escapes suffering. Not only the poor and the sick need assistance. Conquerors of nations are sometimes insecure. And utterly beautiful women can worry if they are attractive.

Because pain pollutes the world like jet fuel the atmosphere around an airport, crowds besiege Jesus in the gospel today. Could he heal a sick child? Could he stop the chronic hemorrhaging of an impoverished woman? No doubt, he had a hundred similar requests as he steps across the sand. What would we add if we were there? Could he cure my cold? Could he lift me from depression?

Jesus generally takes note of our faith and grants our requests. At some point, however, he will have us stretch our faith into eternity. What we seek will not be immediately granted. Many of will die without experiencing a release from suffering. Then we will await his voice, “Little girl, arise” or “Little boy, arise.” And just like the twelve-year-old in the gospel, we will arise to a new world. We will be finally freed from all hurt because Jesus will be fully present.