THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

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My brothers and sisters in Christ,

God controls death and life, yet God did not make death. God made us to live and to live fully.

The first reading today, from the Book of Wisdom, is very clear that death comes from the Devil, from the Evil One. Death was not part of the plan for us in the beginning. As we reflect on this, we need to realize also that death is not just physical death, not even in the Scriptures. Death is about whatever should be alive in us and is not alive. When we begin to reflect on that, we see how much death is already in us, even as we live. Think of all of the wonderful opportunities of grace that we have refused. Think of the ways in which we have not loved ourselves or God or one another. Just these two short meditations will reveal death at work within us. God did not make death! God wants us alive. How can we believe that when we are beset by death on all sides!

CaptureThe Gospel of Mark today gives us two accounts. The first is the account of the death of the daughter of the synagogue official. This account is interrupted to tell us about the women with hemorrhages for twelve years. Then we return to the daughter of the synagogue official. Both of these accounts are about life, once more. God did not make death! God wants us to live fully. God does not want this daughter of the synagogue official to die and so restores her life.

God does not want this woman with hemorrhages to have that kind of lack of life and so heals her. God did not make death! So often when we pray and God does not respond to what we want, we abandon God and think of God as useless. This synagogue official knew enough to persevere in pray and to keep asking Jesus, even though the messengers from his house told him that his daughter was dead! The woman with hemorrhages knew enough to sneak up on Jesus and touch Him, believing that her life would be changed–and it was. What about us? What do we do? Do we believe that death is from God? Do we believe that God does not care about us? Do we accept the small deaths that come into our lives? Or do we live like the woman in the Gospel today and like the synagogue official?

Where is our own faith commitment now?

Father Jesus