Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
What does faith mean to you? The people whose stories we hear in today’s Gospel had deep faith, and their faith led them to experience powerful encounters with the healing love of Christ. Like the woman with the hemorrhage and Jairus, whose daughter had died, we often turn to God in times of crisis, relying on faith to see us through the darkness. As Saint Paul encouraged the people in Corinth in today’s second reading, we are also called to live differently as a result of our Christian faith. Like Jesus, we are to share the love, mercy, healing, and forgiveness of God with others.
Faith is to believe
Placing our faith and trust in God, whom we cannot see, is not always easy. We wonder why suffering exists and question the meaning of life and our purpose in the world. We wonder if God is really present during the most challenging of life circumstances; we sometimes experience spiritual dryness, in which God seems distant or absent. At times, we may feel strong in faith, until a situation at home or work requires us to act as a person of faith, and suddenly faith is no longer easy, convenient, or comfortable. These moments are so common that we speak of taking a “leap of faith,” when we act out of faith, even when the result of doing so is uncertain. Such a leap is often a turning point in our lives, as we find strength, healing and peace in turning our burdens and anxieties over to God in trust. Saint Augustine said, “Faith is to believe what you do not see. The result of this faith is to see what you believe.”
The result of faith
As we grow in faith, we come to believe that God is always with us, through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and the sacramental life of the Church, especially the Eucharist. We are assured of God’s presence in quiet moments of prayer and experiences of the kindness, care, and compassion of others. We “see what we believe” through all of these encounters with Christ’s love. These experiences lead us to praise and thank God for our many blessings, and to reach out to others so that, through us, they may also encounter Christ’s undying love. Through all of this, we grow in our willingness to share our many gifts with others, especially the faith that makes such a difference in our lives.
Today’s Readings: Wis 1:13–15; 2:23–24; Ps 30:2, 4, 5–6, 11, 12, 13; 2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13–15; Mk 5:21–43 [21–24, 35b–43]