Sunday reflection by Very Reverend Stephen E. Salocks, Rector of Saint John's Seminary - June 27, 2021
On the Thirteenth Sunday of the Year, the Church responds to the Word of God with the words of Psalm 30 and proclaims, “I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.” Last week, we heard how Jesus calmed the storm on the sea and the fear in the hearts of his disciples. Today, the Gospel of Mark shows us Jesus affirming life, overcoming the powers of sickness and death, and restoring the life, goodness, and order of God’s creation.
In the First Reading, Wisdom reminds us that “God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.” God created us for eternal life. Wisdom acknowledges that “death entered the world,” but that is not God’s plan for us.
Christ comes into our world to restore God’s plan of life and imperishability. In the Second Reading, Saint Paul tells the Corinthians and us that, although our Lord Jesus Christ “was rich, for our sake he became poor so that by His poverty we might become rich.”
Today’s Gospel makes it clear that, in Christ, we receive the life-giving mercy, love, care, and healing of God. Amid the real-life crises of a parent’s concern for a seriously sick child, a woman afflicted with a long-term illness, and fear in the face of the death of a loved one, we learn how faith and salvation, belief, and healing come together. To the woman whose faith and hope moved her to reach out to Jesus, we hear him say, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace and be cured.” To Jairus, the synagogue official whose daughter is on the brink of death, we hear our Lord speak words of encouragement, “Do not be afraid, just have faith.” Finally, we witness Jesus take the hand of the child and say, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
Today, we do well to ask ourselves: How will we let God, in Christ, bring his healing and encouraging touch into our lives and especially into our fearful moments, situations, relationships, and crises? How will we, like the woman, reach out to the Lord in prayer or in the Sacraments, or in our efforts to assist others who are struggling? How will we express our gratitude for the life-giving and saving actions of Christ’s cross and resurrection on our behalf?
Today, we pray that the God of all healing will continue to open our hearts and spirits to behold and trust his love and care in our midst. May our Lord increase our faith and hope in times of crisis, especially in the moments of illness and concern for loved ones who are ill. May we always be ready to believe in His life-giving touch.