Reflection for the Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

  In today’s Gospel we have the opportunity to watch how Jesus interacts with people, particularly with the woman afflicted with a hemorrhage. Our observations are important because they may give us clues about how to deepen our relationship with Jesus. They may help us with prayer, which is, attempting to relate consciously to god.
          We see woman standing on the edge of town. She is about thirty years and seems to be a recluse – one who stays out of the way because she is afflicted with a hemorrhage. According to the Jewish Law, her affliction makes her unclean and to be with others would make them unclean. If. We listen to her in eternal conversation it might bo love this. ” it’s been a lonely life. I am not supposed to be out in the crowd but I am desperate. When I caught a glimpse of him, I felt attracted and scared. I had a funny idea that if I could just touch his cloak, I would be cured.”
        Next, we see this woman warily moving around the edge of the crowd. When she  behind Jesus, she reaches out and touches his cloak and then hurries away. If we were to ask her what happened, she might say, ” How can I describe what happened? I knew I was cured. I wanted to cry , to laugh; I needed to be alone, why was he asking, ‘who touched my clothing? ‘ What difference did it make to him? I just want to get out of there , but I turned around and went back. I was scared to death”
               Now , we see the woman approaching Jesus and telling him the whole truth. Her account of what happened might be like this, ” Jesus was looking at me. I told him what it was like to be sick all of those years, how. I cried, how I eve hated God, I told Jesus that I was even afraid of him. He just kept looking at me. I hah more to tell. It was so easy  to talk to him. Jesus seemed to want to know – to listen. He told me, “Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you.”
            There are three phases to this encounter with Jesus. The first phase is to decision to touch Jesus’ cloak. The decision is not an easy one to make. The woman is worried about what will happen. As we approach prayer, we often find ourselves hesitant. What will happen if we really tell God how we feel? What will God ask of us if we allow God to come near? We might feel we are not worthy of God’s attention. Anyone who has begun serious prayer has experienced resistance to approaching God.
      In phase two. The woman touches Jesus’s cloak and something happens. She received what she wants. She is cured. For many  of us that is the end. We make a decision to approach God in prayer. We ask for what we need. When we receive it, we walk away grateful that God answered our prayer. But that is the end of it.
        Relationships grow through continuing dialogue. If we are interested in deepening our relationship with God, we need to go on to the third phase. We need to tell God the whole truth, how we feel, what we fear, what our desires and hopes are, all those things that friends share with one another. If we do this, now way or another we will hear Jesus say to us, ” Go in peace!”
May God bless you all!
Fr. Dominic
Your brother in Christ

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