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hemtouchThis morning’s gospel reminds me of a “Monday morning feeling” that many people may experience at the beginning of a work week – especially in the summer if the weather on the weekend has been good and the days have been relaxing. Looking forward to the busyness of the week can sometimes cause a desire to turn over and hit snooze on the alarm. In today’s text (MT 9:18-26) Jesus is already hard at it. He’s speaking somewhere when he’s interrupted by an official who approaches quite humbly (kneeling down) and asks that Jesus come to heal his daughter. He’s actually asking for a miracle because the girl has just died. Jesus gets up immediately to go with him and subsequently does heal the girl after telling the mourners that she isn’t dead but just sleeping. That would certainly be enough for one morning – or a whole day’s work, but Matthew (perhaps to make a point about the extent of power that Jesus possessed) inserts another miracle story as Jesus is on his way to the official’s house. It’s the woman who has been bleeding for 12 years whose faith is such that she believes she will be cured simply by touching the cloak of Jesus as he passes by. She is trying not to attract attention, thinking that since there’s a crowd following, Jesus won’t even notice her touch. But Jesus, ever attentive to the slightest thing, turns around and addresses her, saying, “Courage, Daughter! Your faith has saved you!” And that is really the point of both healings, I think. Faith heals. Faith saves us in our darkest moments.

Faith is both a gift and a practice. Some of us were born into a faith; for some it came later through some sort of conversion – slow or immediate. However we have experienced faith in our life we need to remember that it needs to be nurtured through prayer and our everyday living. Each of the characters in today’s gospel asked in some way for healing and Jesus answered. Sometimes we may not get the answer that we are looking for and it doesn’t always help to quote the passage that says, “God’s ways are not our ways.” If our faith is deeply grounded, however, we will not give up on God, as God does not give up on us. The healing may be accomplished in a way we do not understand or recognize. So on this Monday morning, let us again set out with Christ at our side, off to the work that is given us to do, knowing that God has our best interest at heart. And maybe today we will see miracles…