While Jesus was speaking to them, an official of the synagogue came up to him, bowed before him and said, «My daughter has just died, but come and place your hands on her, and she will live». Jesus stood up and followed him with his disciples. Then a woman who had suffered from a severe bleeding for twelve years came up from behind and touched the edge of his cloak. For she thought, «If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed». Jesus turned, saw her and said, «Courage, my daughter, your faith has saved you». And from that moment the woman was cured.
When Jesus arrived at the official's house and saw the flute players and the excited crowd, He said, «Get out of here! The girl is not dead. She is only sleeping!». And they laughed at him. But once the crowd had been turned out, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up. The news of this spread through the whole area.
The faith is the source of all hope. This faith can push us to expect something extraordinary in an ordinary situation. Once the life is fully rooted in the faith, we can still march with hope even though there is no visible sign of any hope of advancing. Faith has this special quality of identifying even the lost means of hope, though remain invisible to our intelligence.
Both the father and this lady in today’s gospel had this hope, which pushed them to do something unimaginable. They approached Jesus with the hope of new life. Jesus who long to give us this second chance of life, will certainly be happy to offer this to us. The question is, do we approach Jesus very often with the certitude of hope or chose to remain incredible.
For our daily application i would propose to watch the way the Lord remained watchful of the small gesture of the lady, even in a busy day. He will be always watchful and we too should imitate this quality in our daily life. Why not start to be watchful and be present fully today itself?
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
Daughter, your faith has made you well, by John Chrysostom (347-407 AD)
"So what did Messiah do? He did not let her go unnoticed but led her into the center of attention and made her visible. He had many reasons for doing this. Some might imagine that 'he did this merely for love of glory - otherwise why would he not allow her to remain concealed?' But what are they proposing who might say this? That he should keep her silent, that he should ignore her need, and thereby pass up miracles too numerous to mention, all because he is in love with glory? What an unholy thought, inspired by the most unholy one of all."
"What then is his intention in bringing her forward? First, Jesus puts an end to her fear. He does not want her to remain trapped in dread. He gives no cause for her conscience to be harmed, as if she had stolen the gift. Second, he corrects her assumption that she has no right to be seen. Third, he makes her faith an exhibit to all. He encourages the others to emulate her faith. Fourth, his subduing the fountains of her hemorrhage was another sign of his knowledge of all things. And finally, do you remember the ruler of the synagogue? He was at the point of despair, of utter ruin. Jesus is indirectly admonishing him by what he says to the woman." (excerpt from the THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, HOMILY 31.2)
«Your faith has saved you»
Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, the liturgy of the Word invites us to admire two splendid manifestations of faith. So splendid were they that they deserved to move Jesus Christ's heart —immediately!— provoking his reaction. Our Lord does not allow himself to be won over in generosity!
«My daughter has just died, but come and place your hands on her, and she will live» (Mt 9:18). We could almost say that a strong faith as such can “oblige” God. But, He likes that kind of obligation. The other testimony of faith of today's Gospel is also equally impressive: «If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed» (Mt 9:21). Both Jesus' reaction and the end result of this dialogue of faith are quite radical: «Courage, my daughter, your faith has saved you» (Mt 9:22).
We could even affirm that God gladly lets our good faith to “manipulate” him. What, instead, He does not admit is that we try to tempt him with our mistrust. This was the case with Zechariah, who asked evidence from Gabriel, the archangel: «Then Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this?’» (Lk 1:18). The Archangel did not shrink an inch: «And the angel said to him in reply, ‘I am Gabriel, who stand before God (...). But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time’» (Lk 1:19-20). And so it was.
It is He who wants to “oblige and commit himself” with our faith: «So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened» (Lk 11:9). He is our Father and He does not want to refuse anything that is convenient for his children.
But we must entrust our petitions to him with confidence; confidence and naturalness with God require treatment: to trust somebody we must know him; and to know him we must treat him. Thus, «faith provokes prayer, and when prayer arises it makes faith strong» (St. Augustine). Let us not forget the praise the Virgin Mary deserved: «Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!» (Lk 1:45).