It was a glorious day in the neighborhood. Two people were healed by Jesus. The common denominator in both healings was faith.
We often speak about faith in amounts. “So and so has a lot of faith. That person seems to have little faith.” Even the Lord refused to do many miracles in his hometown when he saw that there was little faith in their hearts. Yet, we know that faith is a gift from God. We can do nothing to merit such a gift. We can pray that the Lord will increase our faith. However, such a virtue cannot be measured. We can’t take it out and put it on a scale—see if we’re going up or down. How much faith did the woman who was hemorrhaging have? Would we classify her as having little or much? All she did was touch the cloak of Jesus. That’s all. She didn’t yell, didn’t make demands, didn’t even stick around afterwards to give testimony. She just approached and touched the garments of the Lord. Wonder what the crowd thought when Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” The nameless woman knew she had been cured. She approached with fear and trembling—like she had stolen something. Indeed, she had not wanted anyone to know what she had done—sort of a sneaky approach. What can we do that God doesn’t know? How can we hide from God? God knew what she needed even before she touched his garment. However, the Lord was the One who planted the seed of faith in her heart in the first place. God is always the One who takes the initiative to bring us closer to Him. To say, “Daughter, your faith has saved you; is the same as saying, Daughter, I have saved you.”
Unfortunately we are more prone to believe bad news than we are good news. We often give in to the negative, especially about ourselves. If someone tells us, “Oh, you don’t have any faith.” The negativity creeps in, and we allow the lie to penetrate our soul. Not a good idea. When the folks told the synagogue official that his daughter had died Jesus disregarded the message. “Do not be afraid, just have faith” He told the official. We would all do well to remember such words. How many times have we been afraid? How often have we lost faith? We always want to be in control. Some situations in life we cannot control; we can only surrender to whatever God wants. “Do not be afraid, just have faith.”
All of us are challenged to believe in the goodness that we have within. Many people give up on themselves, then they say that they can’t believe in God. No wonder. We are also challenged to believe in the goodness of humanity. At any given moment there are more good people than there are bad. The bad ones make the news. Whatever disasters come our way, it’s not the end of the world; it’s the beginning. From the ashes new life sprouts. God has shown us over and over that He is on our side. He’s our best friend and He comes through for us, just like He helped the woman who was bleeding and the little child presumed dead. “I say to you arise.” “Arise from your fears—from the past hurts—from the brokenness of your sins. Lots of stuff weighs heavily upon our shoulders. Every day worries can get us down. Let’s be smart like the synagogue official, like the nameless woman who had enough sense to come to Jesus. Some problems we cannot solve by ourselves, we need help. Jesus can provide the help that we need. All we have to do is ask. “Lord help me.” That’s still a powerful prayer. We open the door; the Lord does the rest.
The Eucharist is our greatest gift. We not only get to touch Jesus, He comes under our roof—into our person. We become One. Holy Communion is our opportunity to ask. God will give us what we need.