The Powerful Touch of Jesus
The daily Scriptures present stories of faith that lead to new and renewed life for many folks. Jesus’ word of "courage!" is most appropriate!
The Genesis reading tells of Jacob on a journey to find a wife — stopping on the roadside for the night, sleeping on a rock, and having a fascinating dream of a ladder reaching to the heavens…complete with angels going up and down! The dream opened Jacob’s heart, especially as the voice of the Lord in the dream promising him that the land he slept upon would become the home of his descendants. Fulfilling that promise was part of a long and often shaky history of the chosen people from whom the Messiah, Jesus, would be born.
The Gospel selection from Matthew presents Jesus "at work" preaching…and ultimately healing. An official approached Him and asked that He come and lay His hand on his daughter who had just died, believing that she would come alive again with his touch. As Jesus and his disciples made their way to the official’s house, a woman with a long history of hemorrhages faithfully touched his cloak and was cured…receiving as well Jesus’ encouragement of "courage". Arriving at the official’s house, Jesus put off the crowd that had gathered, took the girl by the hand — and she arose!
The powerful touch of Jesus has changed many lives, and changed history itself. For ourselves, whatever our nation of origin or our current citizenship, we "touch" God as we share in the Life of Jesus. Freedom from sinfulness, peace with God and one another, life that lasts eternally, an abundance of gifts – all our ours in Jesus as we are touched by His Love in the Sacraments, the Scriptures, the Church, and the lives of one another.
As we continue to face many challenges as Christians in the 21st Century — and the opportunities which are ours as well – may Jesus walk with us, hand in hand, encouraging us as God did Jacob, and touching our lives as has happened for so many others. God bless us all!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the local leader of the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky.