Book of Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15 Mark 5:21-43
Sunday’s Gospel from Mark has much about which to ponder. Three words popped into my head when I read this account. Plan. Touch. Faith.
Jairus had a PLAN to seek out Jesus when his daughter suffered a life-threatening illness. He wanted to persuade Jesus to come to his home and cure her. The PLAN of the woman afflicted with hemorrhages was to sneak up behind Jesus in the crowd, and TOUCH his cloak for a cure.
Instantaneous cure was her reward! Later on, Jesus TOUCHED the “dead” child of Jairus, taking her hand to life her up. She not only woke up, but walked around!
FAITH played a major role in these miracles. Jesus even emphasized the importance of FAITH when he told Jairus, “. . . just have FAITH,” when the people discouraged him from bothering Jesus since the girl had already died. And to the hemorrhaging woman, Jesus assured her, “Daughter, your FAITH has saved you.”
Three questions for your reflection: What PLAN regarding a problem, difficulty, or concern do you bring to God? When and how have you gotten “in TOUCH” with Jesus regarding that problem? How strong is your FAITH when you pray or take action to deal with the difficulty?
In Jesus’ words to Jairus, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
Reflection for the Birth of John the Baptist…June 24, 2018 by Judy Moe McCallum, Notre Dame Associate
God promised Zachariah that his wife Elizabeth would bear a son in her older age, and when she conceived, it was Elizabeth who fully understood and believed the miracle. When asked the child’s name, she did not offer the name of her husband, but the name John, a name ordained by God. Her husband, Zachariah, who was without speech, woke up to the wisdom and deep faith in God of his wife and wrote on a tablet: “His name shall be John,” and God restored his speech. What wonders, then, proceeded as the child grew to become John the Baptist who would baptize Christ.
What promise have we been given by God? How can we, like Elizabeth, come to hear and understand the promise? How can we follow the command of God as Elizabeth did, even when it goes against custom? To not name a child after the father was a brave step for her. But in her faith, she was able to follow God’s command, even amidst the murmurings of the people around her. And she was able, as a wife and now as a mother, to inspire her husband to follow God’s word. How do we give ourselves up so wholly to God as Elizabeth did? How do we find the same deep faith as Elizabeth’s that we might announce in joy the path that God has chosen for us? How can we, like Elizabeth, inspire others to rejoice and answer God’s call for them?
Theresa Wiggs—Notre Dame Associate
This week, in our first Reading, Ezekiel proclaimed our Lord’s words in these images: a weak cedar sapling grows strong on a mountain top, tall trees becoming low, low trees rise, strong trees wither, and withering trees produce fruit. These powerful images remind us of our dependence on our loving God's help and guidance. When we are "weak" enough to accept God's help, we too can do great things.
This lesson is helpful as I work too with my friends that are Sudanese refugees. Finding affordable housing is a big challenge, so I am reminded to ask God to guide my efforts.
In the Letter to the Corinthians we are called to rely less on “the body” and more on faith. Sometimes we must see past the obvious to see what God has in store for us. If we truly, “walk by faith and not by sight”, we leave our eyes and hearts open to God’s will.
Mark’s Gospel this week has Jesus speaking in parables of seeds scattered and grown. The tiny mustard seed grows into a large, strong plant with branches capable of offering shelter. I have always loved this imagery. As we are in nature this week, let us look at each tree and shrub with new eyes. When we are faced with a challenge, let us remember, a ‘mustard seed’ of faith or love can grow, and grow, and grow, when nurtured with faith in God.
Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, what God has ready for those who love Him. I first heard the song “Eye Has Not Seen” over 20 years ago at a funeral for an aunt. Initially I thought “I don’t know this song, how am I going to sing it?” As it turned out, I found it beautiful, easily learned, and it spoke volumes.
Today’s second reading 2 Corinthians 4:13 - 5:1 has this same message – we don’t know what God has in store for us in eternity or in this life, but we know it will be far beyond our imaginations!
Whatever pain, sorrow, misfortune, etc., we have will cease to exist. We are going from darkness into light. Just as we welcome the sun after a stretch of cloudy weather, this new light will be with us for eternity. This is God’s promise to us.
We know, we believe, we wait. . .
Reflection for the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ…June 3, 2018 by Sr Barbara Markey ND
(Mark 14:12-16, 22-26)
Jesus knew what it was to be truly human. Because of this, we know in faith that the gift of Eucharist was intended to help us know that God makes a home in our body, heart and soul. The food and drink we take literally keeps us living, so the bread and wine we take in Eucharist reminds us that we are alive in God.
Jesus was body and blood. He knew pain and joy, knew acceptance and complete denunciation. Eucharist is food for life for those with faith in Christ Jesus and allows us to come back to this holy nutrition in order to continue on our journey. This unexplainable food, to which we are continually invited, gives us hope and allows us to continue trusting that God is always with us and for us. We don’t have to earn this food. We seek to be faithful, but we know that God is faithful to us even if we are not faithful to him. The body and blood of Christ is there for us as we seek to return to him.
As we celebrate the feast of Eucharist, let us know that Jesus was human and that he gave us this gift of his body and blood in order nourish us with his life and love.