13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 1:13-15,2:23-24; Psalm 29(30):2,4-6,11-13; 2 Corinthians 8:7,9,13-15; Mark 5:21-43.
In today’s gospel narrative, we see Jesus who heals a woman who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years and raises Jairus’ daughter back to life. Both the synagogue official and the woman with the haemorrhage had a great faith in Jesus and approached him with their hope for healing. For both of them the venture was not easy. The woman with the haemorrhage was considered ‘unclean’ and, as such, should not have neither been in the crowd nor should she have touched Jesus, as this would have rendered him unclean. Yet her faith led her to set aside these conditions set by society. Even Jairus’ faith was put to the test when he was informed that his daughter had in fact died while he had been waiting for Jesus to come to his home, yet he did not give up!
Paul invites the Christians in Corinth to model their life on Christ’s. Christ who was rich but, for our sake, became poor in order to make us rich. Jesus who set aside his divinity, took upon himself our humanity, so that we could share in his divinity! The true Christian too should set aside his wealth and share in the poverty of his sisters and brothers. Christ is indeed the model of the Christian.
Who did the Servant of God Joseph De Piro understand Jesus to be? In the book Found among sinners Martin Cilia mssp writes:
The model and the way for Joseph De Piro’s prayer life was Jesus himself: “all our religion” he said, “consists in the idea that God is present in our midst.” De Piro was fascinated by the apostles’ question “Lord teach us to pray.” It is a simple, profound and direct question. The apostles do not ask Jesus how to work miracles, how to preach and teach, or how to lead the Church, Lord teach us to pray is the one and only necessary thing on which all other things depend. They ask the Lord to help them be in touch with their inner reality that brings them closer to the Father. The apostles realise that prayer is the secret behind Jesus’ personality, De Piro writes:
‘In the holy gospel, almost in every page, attention is drawn on the need to pray. This truth is also taught by the example of Jesus Christ who used to spend nights praying. We see him pray before he begins some important action, before he chooses the apostles, before Lazarus’ resurrection. We see him pray in the garden before his passion. Now, if the need to pray is so big, it is as much difficult to know how to pray well. By himself man would have never succeeded in finding the way to pray. When we remember the foundation of the Church, we find the apostles, who are certain of the real need to pray but who do not manage to pray, and so they go near Jesus and ask him to teach them how to pray.’
De Piro’s prayer life was centred on Christ; “a characteristic of the Catholic cult is to offer oneself to God and pray to him through Jesus Christ.” Prayer consists of listening to the voice of God who speaks through his word; “The ear of our soul should always be ready to hear his voice.”
‘To find the very Sacred Heart of Jesus there is no need to go up to Heaven, to go up to the right of the Father, because Jesus is still here with us. Jesus still lives on earth, among us, and we can go near him any time that we want. And he is always ready to welcome us and open to us his heart to live in it. Enter this heart and you will find your safety.’
If Jesus is the word of God, then those who decide to follow him must be ready to listen to his voice. It is a shift from talking to listening, a difficult but necessary shift for someone who was so involved and so busy every day. Silence spoke to him more than words; it allowed him the space to be with his own reality and be with God. (Martin Cilia, Found among Sinners, (2010), 74-76.)