“Do not be afraid; just have faith.” Mark 5:36
Today’s Gospel is about the power of faith in the face of fear—emotions we all experience at one time or another.
We know the story well. An official of the synagogue pleaded with Jesus for a laying of hands on his sick daughter who was at the point of death. The crowd said why trouble the rabbi when the girl had in fact died. Jesus’ response was calming. He would go to the home of the official with a message of faith.
Upon entering the house, Jesus said the child was not dead but merely asleep. Ignoring the disbelievers, he took the young girl by the hand and asked her to rise. Which she did. The crowd was utterly astonished at the healing powers of the preacher from Galilee.
Placing complete faith in God in the face of seemingly insurmountable difficulties is perhaps the most challenging experience any of us can have. But faith, as the Gospel shows us, is the only remedy for grief and fear. Faith is the grace that can us heal from deep hurts and sorrow, and from personal disappointments as well. Faith restores our souls, transcending moments of doubt and fear with the conviction that we are destined for eternal life in the company of Our Lord.
Friend, no matter our calling, we are all human beings in need of healing. But just as important, we are all capable of offering healing to one another—the gift of grace that begins with an act of compassion. Today, Jesus assures us that we will always have the presence of God to restore our souls. When we need help, all we need to do is ask.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 4th Sunday
Lord of life, love and light
stand by our side when death
draws near, when hatred abounds,
and when darkness obscures the way.
You Who came to earth to live like us
help us to live like You putting all our
trust in our Father’s mercy.
You Who wept at the death of Your friend,
Lazarus, and felt the grief of parents for their
dying daughter, help us to trust despite our doubt
and when death claims those we deeply love
may we rely on Your loving kindness even then.
May the power of Your resurrection transform
our doubts into hope, our tears into determination,
and our grief into a wellspring of peace, confident that
You who created and assumed our human nature
will not abandon us nor allow us to suffer
life’s setbacks alone.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso