Gospel: Mt 9:18-26
While Jesus was speaking to them, an official of the synagogue came up to him, bowed before him and said, “My daughter has just died, but come and place your hands on her, and she will live.“ Jesus stood up and followed him with his disciples.
Then a woman, who had suffered from a severe bleeding for twelve years, came up from behind and touched the edge of his cloak; for she thought, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.“ Jesus turned, saw her and said, “Courage, my daughter, your faith has saved you.“ And from that moment, the woman was cured.
When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the excited crowd, he said, “Get out of here! The girl is not dead. She is only sleeping!“ And they laughed at him. But once the crowd had been turned out, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up. The news of this spread through the whole area.
An author once compared the miraculous cloak of Jesus that the woman touched to the sacraments of the Church. Just as the woman in the Gospel reached out in faith and touched Jesus through his cloak, so we can reach out in faith and touch Jesus through the sacraments. If we do, Jesus’ healing power will flow into us, just as it flowed into the woman. The comparison is not perfect but it helps us appreciate what a precious gift the sacraments are. They serve a valuable purpose. They are powerful symbols that mediate the healing power of God, leading us to wholeness and fullness of life. May we have the desire to encounter the Lord frequently through the sacraments that we can experience this powerful presence.
By bringing the synagogue official’s daughter back to life, Jesus proves once more that he is no ordinary human being. Son of God that He is, he has power over death. For Jesus and for us believers, earthly death is only a form of “sleep.“ Death, therefore, is not something that should frighten us. As the late Cardinal Bernardin once said, “Death is a friend, not an enemy.“