Indomitable Faith

Matthew 9:18-26
Gn 28:10-22 / Ps 91

She said to herself, ‘If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.’
(Matthew 9:21)

You have given me this Faith, Lord,
And from my sins You’ve set me free;
My health and vigor You’ve restored,
So, now I serve You faithfully.

While He was saying these things to them, 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 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 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

This beautiful passage in the Gospel of Matthew shows some very interesting events and characters in the life of our Lord Jesus. First there is Jairus (named in the Gospel versions of Mark and Luke), a leader in the synagogue of Capernaum. He had waited so long until his daughter had died before going to Jesus, perhaps because he was afraid to displease his colleagues who were plotting against the “Son of Man”. But eventually, his love for his only daughter and his faith in the power of Jesus as the Messiah prevailed over his fears. A leader of his station could hardly be expected to kneel before this carpenter’s son unless he believed that Jesus truly possessed divine powers. Don’t we all undergo such a spiritual transformation when we are faced with a desperate situation, and have no other recourse but to turn to God?

On the way to the house of Jairus, our Lord encountered another person with the same faith that Jesus was her only recourse for healing. This woman 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 (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 helpless 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.

Persons of weaker character are vulnerable to the evil of despair, but to people of faith, there is no such thing as a hopeless situation. This is especially true for Christians who avidly read the Word of God, and believe in all the promises of God in Scriptures. For instance, St. Paul said, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Rom.8:28). In fact, when we look back, we realize that it was often trials and tribulations that led us to discover our calling. We can only thank God that in our weaknesses, He has often given us the courage and strength to persevere. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2Tim 1:7) So be of good cheer, for Jesus, our God will always be there for us.

Lord God, we pray that in times of trials, we may be emboldened by the Holy Spirit to rise above our fears, to “fight the good fight of faith,” believing that You are present there to help. May we always put our faith in You. Amen.

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