Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection July 08, 2024


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R/. The Lord is kind and full of compassion

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. Our Saviour Christ Jesus abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: While Jesus was speaking, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went through all that district.

1.      Today’s readings draw our attention to the “power of touch”. Touch is a sign of intimacy. It is a sign of relationship. It is a sign of freedom. It is an expression of assurance, comfort, and encouragement. It is a channel of tenderness. A touch of true love and concern can communicate more than many words and can do more than many big actions. The tender touch of a mother can put a crying child into a serene sleep.

2.      Perhaps, in our world of today, this is what is missing. We miss the tender and gentle hands that are stretched forth to others to wipe away the tears, to pat on the back, to support on the shoulders, to assure on the bosom. We miss that touch of a heart that is touched and wants to touch the troubled life of the other.

3.      In such a context, today God is extending us His touch and showing us yet again the power of His touch. In the first reading, it is a touch of God that restores the lost beautiful relationship with His people. It is a touch that re-embraces them in intimacy and re-establishes fidelity. How tenderly God speaks: “I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness”.

4.      In the gospel, we have two other touching episodes of touch. The woman with a hemorrhage from 12 years, touches just the edge of the Lord’s cloak and she gets instantly healed. The official’s dead daughter is just touched by the Lord’s hand and instantly comes back to life. This is the power of the Lord’s touch.

5.      The Lord’s touch is always available. He always wants to touch our lives and change them. However, what is needed on our part is the humble and persevering faith of the ruler and the sick woman in the gospel. Even in their desperate and hopeless situations, they could trust in the Lord’s benevolence and power. Accordingly, their faith was rewarded.

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