Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
There is hardly a greater sadness in this fallen world than for a parent to lose a child to death; even the Heart of the Father is not a stranger to this sadness. Today a man comes to Jesus begging for a miracle: to restore to life his daughter who has just died.
As Jesus goes along a woman who suffered from hemorrhages for over a decade approaches Him discretely. Why is this significant? Leviticus 15:19-30 details the law regarding women who not only experience their monthly cycle but any flow of blood outside of the normal cycle as well; in short, they are unclean. Anything they touch, any chair they sit upon or bed they lay upon, all this is unclean as well. Recall that this woman suffered thusly for twelve years; she would have been a virtual leper. Can you imagine the anguish and isolation of this poor woman? And anyone who touched her would be unclean as well; hence why she thought she would just touch his cloak. Were she to ask for His healing touch, or touch Him openly, people would consider Him to be unclean and she would be further shamed.
“As the Father has loved me, so I love you.” Jesus turns to her and encourages her, calling her Daughter, and she is cured from that hour. Have we not all had a similar experience, wallowing in the shame of our own sin and struggling even to approach Jesus in our state? Yet He longs to open His heart and show us the love of the Father, to remind each of us that we are children of God. Even the little girl overwhelmed by death is brought back, as though Christ were saying to the official, “My Father has no dead children; all are alive in Me.”
In today’s readings we see the Father as He is revealed by the love of Christ; the father in need comes to Jesus as does the lowly daughter of the Most High and both are rewarded for their faith. Truly, “…no one comes to the Father except through Me…” (John 14:6)