1 Kings 8:1-7, 9-13
The Catholic Catechism is divided into four main sections. Each section is introduced by a picture of a fresco or statue. The section on the celebration of the Christian mystery, or sacraments, is introduced with a fresco dating from the beginning of the fourth century A.D. The fresco, taken from the catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter in Rome, shows the woman with the hemorrhage in Mark 5 reaching out and touching the bottom of Jesus’ garment.
One would think that in order to depict a sacrament they would show Jesus touching someone or feeding a person since liturgies are meant to heal and nourish. But I believe what the authors wanted to depict with this fresco is that the power and grace of a sacrament must proactively be received. The primary way we receive grace is through simple faith.
What this fresco shows is the same truth revealed in today’s Gospel. People reached out to Jesus in simple faith and received power to become whole. The glory cloud can inhabit our liturgies and sacraments when they become more than simple rote rituals. We must reach out in expectant faith to realize their power. The next time you participate in a sacrament, reach out and touch him and I believe you will receive something special.
Fr. Cedric Pisegna, C.P. is a missionary preacher, author of 15 books and creator of the TV program Live with Passion! airing in many cities. You can learn more about his ministry at: http://www.frcedric.org/