Faith, Compassion, and Healing


Faith, Compassion, and Healing

June 30, 2024 | N W | Compassion, Faith, Father Nixon, Generosity, Healing, Life

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 30, 2024 — Year B
Readings: Wis 1:13-15; 2:23-24 / Ps 30 / 2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15 / Mk 5:21-43
by Rev. Nixon Negparanon, Pastor

Our readings today collectively highlight God’s life-giving nature and His desire for us to live in fullness and health.

The Book of Wisdom tells us that God did not create death, and that all creation is wholesome. These foundational truths set the stage for understanding the miracles in the gospel reading. Jesus’ actions in healing the woman and raising Jairus’s daughter from death to life are manifestations of God’s will to restore life and wholeness. The readings also show Jesus’ immeasurable compassion.

In the first reading we are reminded that God did not create death, nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living. God’s creation is fundamentally good and destined for immortality, reflecting His own nature. The passage underscores that death entered the world through the envy of the devil, highlighting the contrast between God’s life-giving nature and the destructive forces of evil.

The second reading, from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, emphasizes generosity and equality within the Christian community. Paul encourages the Corinthians to excel in the grace of giving, just as they excel in faith, speech, knowledge, and love. He points to the example of Jesus Christ who, though rich, became poor for our sake, so that through His poverty, we might become rich. Paul’s message is one of mutual support and sharing, ensuring that no one is in need while others have abundance.

Generosity doesn’t always have to involve money. In Father Mike Schmidt’s Catechism in a Year podcast, at Day 255, addresses how to engage in acts of solidarity and generosity beyond just giving money: spending time with those in need, listening to their stories, providing companionship. Sometimes a listening ear can be more valuable than money. We can also get involved with local charities or community organizations. Volunteering can address broader issues and provide structured support to those in need. Spiritual support can be powerful. Pray for those in need and let them know that we are praying for them. This can provide comfort and hope. By engaging in these actions, we can embody the true spirit of solidarity and generosity, providing meaningful support that goes beyond financial aid.

In the gospel, we encountered intertwined stories of Jairus’s daughter and the woman with a hemorrhage. These narratives highlight Jesus’ power over sickness and death and the transformative impact of faith and compassion.

When Jesus was carrying the cross, Veronica stood out for her unwavering compassion. As Jesus stumbled under the weight of the cross, bloodied and exhausted, Veronica pushed her way through the hostile crowd, and in a moment of pure, selfless love, she removed her veil and gently wiped the sweat and blood from his brow. To our amazement, the image of His sacred face was miraculously imprinted on the cloth. This act of kindness in the midst of such suffering was a testament to her deep faith and compassion. Veronica’s gesture, though small, had a profound impact. It was a beacon of humanity and love, shining brightly in the darkness of that day. Her bravery and empathy have inspired countless generations to show kindness, even in the face of adversity. Saint Veronica’s story reminds us that true compassion requires courage, and that even the smallest acts of love can leave a lasting impression, much like the image of Christ’s face on her veil. She’s celebrated not just for her miraculous cloak, but for the profound compassion that drove her to comfort Jesus in His hour of need.

In the gospel reading, the woman with a hemorrhage had suffered for twelve years, enduring much at the hands of many doctors and spending all she had. Despite her suffering, she clung to a glimmer of hope. She believed that simply touching Jesus’ cloth would heal her. Her faith, born out of desperation, propelled her to act. Jesus acknowledges her faith saying, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your disease” (Mk 5:34). This encounter underscores that, even in our darkest moments, faith can lead to healing and restoration. Some have also claimed that Saint Veronica is the same as the biblical woman who suffered from twelve years of hemorrhages. While these traditions and assertions cannot be proven, we do know that the bleeding woman displayed great faith in the Lord and was healed.

Meanwhile, Jairus, a synagogue leader, showed remarkable faith and patience. Despite being informed that his daughter had died, he trusted Jesus’ assurance, “Do not fear, only believe” (Mk 5:36). Jairus’s faith was tested by the delay caused by Jesus’ interaction with the woman, yet his belief remained steadfast. Jesus’ response to Jairus’s situation demonstrates that delays do not diminish divine power. God’s timing, though often mysterious, is always perfect. Jesus’ words to the girl, “Talitha koum, little girl, I say to you, get up” remind us of His authority over life and death.

Both stories intertwine to show how faith in Jesus connects and uplifts. The woman’s bold faith and Jairus’s patient faith exemplify different aspects of trusting in God. Their stories teach us that faith is not a one-size-fits-all experience, but a deeply personal journey. Whether we approach Jesus in desperation or impatience, what matters is the trust we place in Him.

Jesus’ actions highlight His boundless compassion. He stops to address the woman suffering despite being on a mission to save Jairus’s daughter. His willingness to be interrupted for the sake of showing love and mercy calls us to examine our own priorities and attitudes. Are we willing to pause and show compassion even when it disrupts our plans? We are challenged today to reflect on how we live out our faith and compassion in everyday life. Are we willing to reach out in faith like the woman? Or wait patiently, like Jairus, trusting in God’s timing? Are we generous with our resources, ensuring that our abundance helps those in need? These stories of healing and restoration challenge us to trust in Jesus’ power to transform our lives and situations.

The exhortation to generosity in the second reading calls us to act with compassion, ensuring that we support and uplift one another. In our lives we might face situations where our faith is tested, and where the needs of others intersect with our own journeys. Let us remember that Jesus’ power to heal and restore is ever present. As we navigate our faith journeys, we will draw strength from the examples of the woman and Jairus, trusting in Jesus and showing compassion to those around us.

May Jesus Christ be praised, now and forever.

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