Tuesday, February 5, 2019

"Do not be afraid; just have faith" (Cf Matthew 5: 21-43)

In today's first reading,  Hebrews 1: 1-4, St. Paul encourages us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, our leader and the one who perfects our faith.  Knowing that he was about to return to His Father, Jesus resolutely goes up to Jerusalem, where He is arrested, condemned and put to death by people under the influence of the Evil One.  St. Paul asks us to consider "how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that [we] may not grow weary and lose heart."

During His sojourn here on earth, Jesus Himself never lost heart or grew weary of loving tenderly, acting justly, and doing what was right (compare Micah 6:8)  for those who expressed their faith and trust in Him. We have examples of that in today's Gospel, Mark 5: 21-43, where a woman who suffered hemorrhages for twelve years believed that if she only touched the hem of His garments she would be healed and she was! Jairus, a synagogue official, whose twelve-year-old daughter lay dying,  approached Jesus asking that He come down to his house and "lay [His] hand on her that she may get well and live." People told the father that his daughter was dead and that he should stop bothering Jesus. The people also mocked Jesus when he entered the synagogue's house. He disregarded their message that she was dead and said to the official: "Do not be afraid; just have faith." Jesus, with some of his disciples, went into the house and  healed the dying child. "'Little girl, I say to you arise' [and she] rose immediately and walked around." 

The opposition, the mockery, the doubts that flew around did not cause Jesus to  "grow weary [or] lose heart."  He knew who he was and he recognized individuals who also knew that helping others and revealing God's compassion toward us was what Jesus was all about.  Nothing stopped Jesus, not even death itself!  He held nothing back on our behalf!

That was true 2000+ years ago and is true today, as well! When we express faith in God in seemingly hopeless situations, some people may mock our faith and tell us that all is lost and that we should give up. In those times, Jesus says to us: "Do not be afraid; just have faith."

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