Mission Society of the Philippines



Mk 5: 21-43

WHAT IS FAITH? Some theologians would say that faith is an element that we find in every person’s life. They mean that even those people who do not belong to any religious traditions have faith. But what kind of faith do these people have? Well, they believe that this world would become better; they have faith that tomorrow is another day, or the sun will rise on another day. But for us, Christians, we deepen this kind of faith. Life has been that meaningful because we have faith in the personal God. We have committed ourselves to God and to Jesus; for they provide meaning to our lives.

This Christian faith has some dimensions. There is faith that assents to or accepts the truth. We find this faith in the mind. The Creed that we profess is an example to this kind of faith. But there is also faith that can be found in the heart. It is a faith that trusts in the goodness of God.  This is the sort of faith that is manifested in the two persons mentioned in the gospel passage: Jairus and the woman with hemorrhages. 

Firstly, let us go over to the faith-story mentioned in the gospel passage. On the part of Jairus, he has a complete trust in Jesus, and his gestures tell it all: he fell at Jesus’ feet and he pleaded earnestly with him with a request: “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” On the part of the woman with hemorrhages, she did not plan to talk to and plead with Jesus. For her, to touch Jesus’ clothes would be sufficient for her healing. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Her trust in Jesus is so total and complete.

This gesture of ‘touching’ is a mark of faith for some Catholics. Their or our kind of piety can be characterized by “touching”. Some Catholic believers, while inside the Church, often go to the statues of Jesus, Mary, and the saints. Their prayers cannot be complete without touching them or their clothes. Some people could not understand this gesture. Well, this is not only part of their religiosity or piety, but this is a mark of their complete trust and faith. Most people believe that this ‘touching’, like what the woman with hemorrhages did to the clothes of Jesus, could also give them some healing.

Secondly, let us turn our attention to Jesus. Healing was an important part in the public ministry of Jesus. What has moved Jesus to heal those people with illnesses? This has also something to do with the heart of Jesus. His heart is full of mercy and compassion toward the sick. He was aware of the situation of those people who have sickness. In his compassion, he tried to uplift their life, and to get rid as well of their desperation, by healing them. But the healing should not only be seen physically. The healing of Jesus is something comprehensive. Jesus healed the people, not only physically, but also spiritually.

The ministry of healing is also an important apostolate in the Church. There are people who are gifted with the gift of healing: they may be priests, nuns or lay people. The work of the healers of our time are laudable because they have imitated the heart of Jesus in relation to the sick.

The ministry of healing is relevant because the world that we live in has become all the more a complicated world. We can hear of many kinds of sickness, and sometimes, the doctors are struggling what they shall do with these illnesses. However, there are also people who are not physically sick, but, psychologically and spiritually, they are. This is the area where ordinary people can do contribute to spiritual healing to others.

Like Jesus, we should have an ability to feel compassion toward the sick and to listen what they feel. Listening to them and strengthening their faith would likewise bring them consolation and healing. AMEN.

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