Touching Jesus

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
Opt. Memorial St. Blaise

Liturgical texts here

 

MANY Catholics go to Mass every Sunday, join the Knights of Columbus or CWL, put a few bucks in the collection basket, etc. But their faith never really deepens; there is no real transformation of their hearts more and more into holiness, more and more into Our Lord himself, such that they can begin to say with St. Paul, “yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” [1]cf. Gal 2:20

Who even talks like this anymore? When do our discussions with fellow Catholics ever involve the things of God, the interior life, or the sharing of the Gospel with others? In truth, these are almost politically incorrect subjects now! Someone recently told me how they asked their priest if he would speak about having a personal relationship with Jesus, and he replied, “I can’t because I don’t know what that means myself.” [2]cf. Personal Relationship with Jesus

Let us fight off the stereotypes that Hollywood and evangelical fundamentalism often project, making it appear as though a serious Christian is usually a whacky Christian. We need to…

…rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us… (Today’s first reading)

In this context, one of the burdens and sins we carry is our pride— worry over what people think of us: “I am Catholic, but heaven forbid “religious”!” But this is such a terrible stumbling block that one risks not only stunting his growth in the Lord, but losing his faith altogether. As St. Paul said:

Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ. (Gal 1:10)

Sadly, many Catholics are like the throngs that followed Jesus in today’s Gospel. They go through the motions, they rub shoulders with Him an hour a week on Sunday, so to speak, but they do not reach out to Him with that faith that moves mountains, that faith that alone releases His power in one’s life:

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years… She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction… He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace…”

That is, we do not “touch Him with our hearts,” as St. Augustine said.

But there is another kind of Catholic, and I suspect that most of you reading this are in this category. You follow Jesus, but you feel your life does not change, that you are not growing in virtue, that you are not deepening your life in Christ. But this is where I ask you not to judge yourself. In today’s Gospel, the hemorrhaging woman sought healing for twelve long years before she found it. And then there is Jairus, who came to Christ begging Him to heal his daughter. It seemed as though God was going to answer his prayer right away… but then delays came… contradictions… even despair because Jesus seemed to have “fallen asleep in the boat” once again.

So, today, dear brother and sister, I repeat: do not judge yourself [3]cf. 1 Cor 4:3 or judge God and the way He works. Perhaps you are in the middle of a terrible cross: the loss of employment, the loss of a loved one, a painful division, spiritual dryness, or the hemorrhaging of your heart from the wounds of your youth. I tell you, do not give up. This is the hour of faith for you—the same kind of faith that healed this woman and raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead, if you persevere. Jesus knows exactly what you need, when you need it. He may make you wait for His consolation, leave you on the cross a little bit longer, but only so that you may abandon yourself more and more to Him, so that your faith becomes real. You need only do what St. Paul tells us today:

…persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.

Grace will come; healing will come; the Lord is near, and will never leave you. For your part, forget what the world or even your family thinks of you, even if they ridicule you like they did Jesus in today’s Gospel. Instead, seek Him with all your heart like a man or woman thirsting for water, for He is the living water that alone will satiate your soul.

For the sake of the joy that lay before him Jesus endured the cross, despising its shame…

Let nothing stand in the way of touching the hem of Jesus with your heart, that is, by praying from the heart, speaking to Him in your own words with tears and supplications, and then waiting for Him to come as you fix your eyes upon Him (which means to read His Word, to pray always, to concern yourself with loving your neighbour as He has loved you).

Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.

I promise you, when you sow your tears in His heart, you will reap the joy of His heart. This is the message I am sharing on the road as my concert tour continues… and thanks be to God, many souls are coming alive and beginning to reach for the hem of Christ.

 

 

 

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WINTER 2015 CONCERT TOUR
Ezekiel 33:31-32

January 27: Concert, Assumption of Our Lady Parish, Kerrobert, SK, 7:00 pm
January 28: Concert, St. James Parish, Wilkie, SK, 7:00 pm
January 29: Concert, St. Peter’s Parish, Unity, SK, 7:00 pm
January 30: Concert, St. VItal Parish Hall, Battleford, SK, 7:30 pm
January 31: Concert, St. James Parish, Albertville, SK, 7:30 pm
February 1: Concert, Immaculate Conception Parish, Tisdale, SK, 7:00 pm
February 2: Concert, Our Lady of Consolation Parish, Melfort, SK, 7:00 pm
February 3: Concert, Sacred Heart Parish, Watson, SK, 7:00 pm
February 4: Concert, St. Augustine’s Parish, Humboldt, SK, 7:00 pm
February 5: Concert, St. Patrick’s Parish, Saskatoon, SK, 7:00 pm
February 8: Concert, St. Michael’s Parish, Cudworth, SK, 7:00 pm
February 9: Concert, Resurrection Parish, Regina, SK, 7:00 pm
February 10: Concert, Our Lady of Grace Parish, Sedley, SK, 7:00 pm
February 11: Concert, St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Weyburn, SK, 7:00 pm
February 12: Concert, Notre Dame Parish, Pontiex, SK, 7:00 pm
February 13: Concert, Church of Our Lady Parish, Moosejaw, SK, 7:30 pm
February 14: Concert, Christ the King Parish, Shaunavon, SK, 7:30 pm
February 15: Concert, St. Lawrence Parish, Maple Creek, SK, 7:00 pm
February 16: Concert, St. Mary’s Parish, Fox Valley, SK, 7:00 pm
February 17: Concert, St. Joseph’s Parish, Kindersley, SK, 7:00 pm

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1. cf. Gal 2:20
2. cf. Personal Relationship with Jesus
3. cf. 1 Cor 4:3
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