The Touch of Faith

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

If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.”
(Matthew 9:21 )

Reach out and touch God in prayer
As the bleeding woman had done,
When we put our faith in His power
That’s when our healing has begun.

While (Jesus was speaking to the crowd), a synagogue leader 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 suffering hemorrhages 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 at that moment. When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 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

A person of weaker character would have despaired. But to a person of faith, there is no such thing as a hopeless situation. She had suffered this debilitating illness for 12 long years, and had exhausted all her wealth on various doctors who were unable to cure her malady (Luke 8:43). Still she held on to the hope that one day she would be cured, and restored to a normal life. So when she learned that Jesus was passing by that place, she resolved to brave the crowd even in her weakened state, believing that “If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.” She believed that Jesus was her last hope. For her faith and brave spirit, Jesus granted her desire, and she was healed.

It was the same case with the synagogue leader, who came to Jesus as his last resort for his daughter’s life. In the other versions of this Gospel passage, the man’s 12-year old daughter was “at the point of death” (see Mark 5:23 and Luke 8:42). Nevertheless, both the woman with a bleeding condition and the father of the dead or dying girl sought the help of Jesus, with the full confidence and faith that He was their only hope for healing and salvation.

Jesus always affirmed the importance of one’s faith for the miracle of healing and restoration to happen. Thus He told the woman with the hemorrhage, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.” In the longer version of Luke, when someone from the synagogue leader’s house came to inform him that his daughter had died, Jesus told him, “Do not be afraid; just have faith and she will be saved” (Lk.8:49).

Life or death makes no difference to our loving God; only our faith matters to Him. He saves us from death or harm in order to show His love for us and to increase our faith in Him. The Old Testament writer of Psalm 91 (today’s Response Reading) was inspired by God to write this “oracle of salvation” promised to those who have faith, and trust in His protection. God’s promise: “I rescue all who cling to me, I protect whoever knows my name. I answer everyone who invokes me; I am with them when they are in trouble; I bring them safety and honor. I give them life, long and full, and show them how I can save” (Psa 91:14-16). Be touched by God in prayer.

Loving Father, our faith is sustained by the wonders that You perform in our life. In our prayers we implore You to please heal our sick brothers and sisters in our community, for their family’s sake as well as for the sake of our faith in You. Amen.

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