Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Genesis 28:10-22a; Matthew 9:18-26)
We think of Jesus as a carpenter or a healer, but foremost he was a teacher. He taught the people while sitting down in the custom of his time. Thus, in today’s gospel when the official asks Jesus to revive his daughter, he must rise to accompany him. Jesus shows no reluctance at all to make the effort. In fact, he is subservient throughout this section. He takes time to heal the weak woman with a hemorrhage on the way. And does not allow the dirge singers to impede him from carrying out his purpose.
Throughout the gospels Jesus teaches as much by his actions as by his words. As he taught the necessity of trusting in God, he exhibits such faith by taking the dead girl’s hand. In this case he does not have to say a word. The girl rises as if she had a near-death experience.
Jesus teaches us, most of all, of the goodness of life. He shows us that it is God’s most essential gift and that it should be valued accordingly. He also teaches that it is not the greatest gift. That distinction belongs to the kingdom of God or, even better, God’s love for us. When we die for God’s love, we can be assured of its blessing. This will be nothing less than the absolute fullness of life.