Saturday, June 27, 2015

XIII. O.T.[B]: Wis 1:13-15; 2:23-24; 2 COR 8:7, 9, 13-15; Mk 5:21--43
 The whole world was saddened when Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. died in a medical clinic in Mexico. What was she doing in Mexico? It's simple. Doctors in the United States had told her they could do no more for her. The clinic in Mexico offered hope. That hope may have been an illusion, but who can blame her?
Two years ago the day I reached home for vacation, my 26 year old nephew who had been going through cancer treatment discontinued his treatments, because his treatments gave him more pain than his sickness gave, adding to the fact that there was no improvements with the treatments but grew worse. With all hope lost he was waiting for death to come and in less than a month’s time there came a Charismatic retreat in our parish, conducted by a healing minister. My dad forced my nephew to attend the retreat. On the first night of the retreat, he thought that was his last day on earth because of the severity of pain. But he survived that night and so he went the second day too. And finally he made all the 5 days retreat and at the end of the retreat he felt he got healed. He went back to his college and finished his studies and was about to start on a job last month and he found out that the cancer came back. Further tests showed that it was in a little advanced stage now. Doctors told there isn’t much to do with treatments but could try. He is waiting now to start on the treatments.
Someone who has lost all hopes would be willing to make any sacrifices to get some hope.
The two people in today’s gospel find Jesus because they lost all hope and they found hope in him.  The woman had lost all hopes for cure after 12 years of treatment with no improvements and the father of the 12 year old girl who had lost all hope of her survival comes to Jesus.
This story tells us a lot about this man who was the ruler of the synagogue, a person of some considerable importance. He was one of the most important and most respected men in the community. But something happened to him when his daughter fell ill and he thought of Jesus.
First of all, his prides were forgotten. There can be no doubt that he might have regarded Jesus as an outsider and as a dangerous heretic. But he was big enough to abandon his prejudices in his hour of need. "Prejudice cannot see the things that are because it is always looking for things that aren't” When Jairus shed his prejudice, he was able to see what Jesus was able to do for him. He realized, none but only Jesus could help him.
The woman’s boldness in touching Jesus' garment -- which, according to the Law, made Jesus unclean -- could have angered him. Further, because her “chronic bleeding disease” rendered her ritually unclean, and any contact she had with others in the crowd, made them also ritually unclean as well. But her Faith in the healing power of Jesus was so strong that she risked breaking all the social rules to seek what she believed He could do for her. I think one of the reasons she touched the garment was not to make Jesus unclean by her touching, but that would be sufficient enough to get her healing. That may be also why she delayed acknowledging she touched him.
By affectionately calling her "daughter," Jesus established a relationship with her and gave her the assurance that she was healed: “Daughter, your Faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” In addition, she gained a personal relationship with Jesus as a member of his family (3:35). By trusting in the power of God and doing His will, she was not only physically cured but was also fully restored to a normal religious and social life. It was her deep Faith in Jesus - symbolized by her touching the tassel of his garment - that was a major factor in her healing.
Though the ruler may have trusted Jesus out of desperation and the woman’s Faith may have been a bit superstitious, even their perhaps defective Faith was amply rewarded.
 Even after Jairus received the shocking news of the death of his daughter, Jesus insisted on going to Jairus’ house and consoled the father saying, "Do not be afraid; only have Faith." The phrase, "Do not be afraid,” appears in the Bible 366 times, the same number of days we have in a year. Meaning, everyday Jesus tells us do not be afraid, but have faith.  When we have faith in the Lord the fear has no place in our life, because Jesus takes away all the fears.
Each patient carries his own doctor inside himself: The great missionary physician, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, said it simply and realistically, "Each patient carries his own doctor inside himself. They come to us [physicians] not knowing that truth. We are best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to work." Are we giving the "doctor who resides" within you the chance to work? Are we moving the greatest doctor in us a chance to do his healing work in us?
At the end of this Mass will we find Jesus walking down the aisle, turning left and right looking for people who touched him? Will he find anyone in this community who touched him by his faith? Or will we be one of those who walked around and jostled him, but never caught Jesus’ attention by touching him by faith?

Tomorrow is the solemnity of Sts.Peter & Paul and today the Church invites us to support the Holy Father in supporting the poor in the world by Peter’s Pence collection. Jesus’ mission was helping the poor and the needy and that is the whole message of the gospel is. Let’s respond positively and wholeheartedly to this mission of the Church.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

OT XII [B] SUNDAY: Job 38:1, 8-11; II Cor 5:14-17; Mk 4:35-41
Once a man approached a Guru, and said that he wanted to be his disciple and learn from him. The Guru asked him, "Who are you?" He replied, "I am Peter." The Guru said, "That is your name. But who are you?" He said, "I am an engineer." The Guru said, "That is your profession.
But who are you?" He said, "I am a man." The Guru said, "That is your gender. But who are you?" The man said, "I do not know." It happens in our lives too. We do not know who we are. When Jesus calmed the sea, the disciples wonder who Jesus was.

The Gospel says that in the evening Jesus was crossing the lake in a boat with his disciples. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped….. The disciples cried, "Master we are going down." This is the common complaint of most of us when we are under trial. Our faith in us falters. Our faith in Jesus falters, and we start doubting about it.
We face storms of sorrow, doubt, anxiety, worry, temptation and passion. The storms we encounter in life are often what make us or break us. These storms can either bring us closer to God and one another or alienate us from God and others. And it is only Jesus who can still these storms for us. Jesus can give us real peace in the storm of sorrow. 
Many of the Fathers of the Church consider this miracle story as an allegory of the early Church.  The boat in the stormy lake is a symbol of the Church facing challenges from inside and various forms of suppression and persecution from outside. The faithful in such situations wondered if Jesus had deserted his Church. But in their desperate cry for help they were able to experience the inner peace and strength of Jesus.  Very often the Church and the faithful have no control over the political and social developments of our society.  But, no matter what we are experiencing, we can -- with the help of Jesus -- find peace. 
Jesus used just four simple words to calm the wind and the waves. "Quiet now! Be calm!" The rebuke is meant for us too; we must believe in ourselves; we must understand the potential that God has given to us; we must show our absolute trust and faith in Jesus. In the first reading Job shows absolute trust in God’s power.

Job represents a good person who must deal with the agony of undeserved suffering.  God tells Job that He is the Creator and Lord of the sea and the waters, and only He can control the wind and the sea and the other elements. "I set limits for the sea and fastened the bar of its door.” The Book of Job, taken in its totality, teaches the lesson that God has plans and purposes which mortal men cannot grasp. It also states that, although the wicked prosper and the innocent suffer for a time, YAHWEH finally redresses the wrongs suffered by the innocent!

This is father’s day weekend. Job is a perfect example of a good father, trusting in God even when he went through great sufferings. He kept patience in trials. A good father would hold his peace in stormy weather in his family.
A man stopped in the grocery store on the way home from work to pick up a couple of items for his wife. He wandered around aimlessly for a while searching out the needed groceries. As is often the case in the grocery store, he kept passing this same shopper in almost every aisle. It was another father trying to shop with a totally uncooperative three year old boy in the cart.

 The first time they passed, the three year old was asking over and over for a candy bar. Our observer couldn't hear the entire conversation. He just heard Dad say, "Now, Billy, this won't take long." As they passed in the next aisle, the 3-year-old's pleas had increased several octaves. Now Dad was quietly saying, "Billy, just calm down. We will be done in a minute."
 When they passed near the dairy case, the kid was screaming uncontrollably. Dad was still keeping his cool. In a very low voice he was saying, "Billy, settle down. We are almost out of here." The Dad and his son reached the checkout counter just ahead of our observer. He still gave no evidence of losing control. The boy was screaming and kicking. Dad was very calmly saying over and over, "Billy, we will be in the car in just a minute and then everything will be OK."
 The bystander was impressed beyond words. After paying for his groceries, he hurried to catch up with this amazing example of patience and self-control just in time to hear him say again, "Billy, we're done. It's going to be OK." He tapped the patient father on the shoulder and said, "Sir, I couldn't help but watch how you handled little Billy. You were amazing."

Dad replied, "His name is Wesley. I'm Billy!"
During this Father’s day weekend let’s pray for fathers in our families to keep the storms calm in their families. In times of pain and struggles be trusting and patient like Job. And be good role model like St.Joseph the foster father of Jesus who protected him from enemies like Herod and always listened to the word of God and lived accordingly and helped his Son grow in wisdom and the favor of God.