Homilette for Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

(Hebrews 12:1-4; Mark 5:21-43)

The eminent psychologist Carl Rogers purportedly gave the banal but nevertheless insightful statistic, “One out of every one of us is hurting.” No one escapes suffering. Not only the poor and the sick need care. Conquerors of nations are sometimes insecure men. And utterly beautiful women can worry if they are attractive.

Because pain pollutes the world like jet fuel the atmosphere of 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 has a hundred similar requests as he steps across the sand. What would we add if we were there? Could he lift my depression? Could he heal my aunt’s cancer?

Jesus generally takes note of our faith and grants our requests. At some point, however, he will have us stretch our faith into eternity. Someday we will succumb to our suffering and die. 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 to us.