January 31, 2012
Memorial of St. John BoscoBeth DeCristofaro
(The woman with the hemorrhage) fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction." Jesus said to the synagogue official, "Do not be afraid; just have faith." (Mark 5:34, 36)
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for to you I call all the day. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. (Psalm 86:3-4)
Not long ago I prayed for something very specific which for a long time I had resisted praying for. Why? I told myself it was selfish and that God didn’t really need to spend time on such trivial things. After all, I have many blessings already in my life. But I finally broke down my own wall of pride and just asked. In essence, I went to my knees, acknowledging the need within me. Christ asks me to “Just have faith” rather than to vet the appropriateness of the request.
Yes, much to my surprise and delight, I was answered and not at all in the way I expected. The two people in today’s Gospel had requests of God which were much dearer to their hearts – indeed to their lives – than mine. Each received an answer that they did not expect. Each encountered a loving, gentle and wildly generous God.
A part of my answer was to again be given the gift of humility. I am the Lord’s; I do not write my life's story on my own. I was struck that God answered me in His own way not in my limited way. Part of faith is being open to God’s answers for my life's story.
In death and in life we are the Lord’s. What have you resisted asking of Jesus because you lack faith or want to save Jesus the trouble or you are afraid of encountering the Lord face to face? “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”