Indomitable Faith

Matthew 9: 18-26
Gen 28: 10-22a / Psa 91

She said to herself, ‘If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.’
(Matthew 9:21)

I only touched Your cloak, my Lord,
And from my sins You’ve set me free;
My health and vigor You’ve restored,
Now I shall serve You faithfully.

While Jesus was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before Him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did His disciples. Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” He said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment. When Jesus entered the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, He said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at Him. After the crowd had been put outside, He went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. News of this spread through all that region. (Matthew 9: 18-26)

Reflection

She had suffered this debilitating illness for 12 long years, and her resources had all been spent on various doctors who were unable to cure her malady (See Luke 9:43). But she held on to the hope that one day she would be cured, and when she learned that Jesus was passing by that place, she resolved to brave the crowd even in her weakened state, believing that “If only I can touch His cloak, I shall be cured.” (Mt.9:21) For her faith and brave spirit, Jesus granted her desire, and was healed. The official, whose daughter had already died, nurtured that same faith when he told Jesus, “But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” (Mt.9:18) And Jesus did for him what he fervently asked, and his daughter’s life was restored.

A person of weak faith can easily despair. But never a person who believes that with God’s help there is no such thing as a hopeless situation. Our faith gives us hope that God, in His great love for us will not refuse what we fervently pray for. The miracle of our son, Jake’s experience at sea in the middle of a storm was just another anecdote about faith in God’s love through the power of combined prayers. Eight years ago almost to the day (July 4, 2001), our second son was in Dipolog city, and needed to rush back to Davao for a business appointment. The fastest way was to catch a boat going to Cebu for a flight home. A signal had been raised for tropical storm ‘Feria’, but for some unexplained reason, the ship’s captain of the boat Jake boarded decided to proceed with the trip. My son didn’t want to alarm us, but when their boat’s engines suddenly stalled, his girlfriend called me at the office. I got in touch with him by cellphone, and sure enough, he said their boat was being tossed about by huge waves without any power! I told him not to worry. “Have faith, and pray hard, and we will also request prayers from all our brothers and sisters in the Brotherhood.” Thank God for SMS and the prayers that stormed heaven that day, my son called to say the crew finally got the engine running. But the miracle that he witnessed was the sudden calm (as if the storm had suddenly disappeared) that followed after an hour. He said the sea had turned placid like oil on a pan, even as at that very moment my friend in Cebu called to say that the storm had not yet abated. Was Jake’s boat in the eye of the storm? More likely, because of prayers, it was in the hollow of God’s hand.

Nothing in creation is impossible if the power of faith comes to bear, because it is in faith, hope and love that we are one with God. Our faith gives us hope that God, in His great love for us will not refuse what we fervently pray for. In fact, He will not only save us in times of trouble, but He will show us His saving power (Psalm 91:16).

Lord, thank You for constantly fortifying our faith in Your love and protection by the big and small miracles that you manifest in our lives. Amen.

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