A Message from Father William

With the miraculous healings described in the Gospel this Sunday (Mark 5:21-43), we might ask: Why did Jesus go to Jairus’ house and take the official’s daughter by the hand in order to bring her back to life? Why didn’t He just heal her from a distance? Why did Jesus allow the hemorrhaging woman to touch Him? He could have cured her without any contact (yet she sensed that if she could only touch Jesus’ cloak she would be healed). Jesus heals from close by because, in His Divine Providence, He chooses to be close to us; God wants us to live in communion with Him, so He heals from close by. And since we are human beings, that closeness, His friendship, is not only spiritual, but also physical – as He said, “I am with you always…” (Matthew 28:20) – and we realize how close and humble God is when He gives us Himself in the Holy Eucharist, in what still appears to be bread and wine that has become His glorified Body and Blood!

Jesus is with us in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual ways: His Word to read and hear (even to feel in Braille if we’re not able to see!); prayer (in silence, thoughts, words, feelings, singing); the seven Sacraments in matter and form, where we experience prayer physically & spiritually – Baptism (water); Confirmation (Chrism oil); Holy Communion (bread and wine that becomes His Body and Blood); Confession (we physically go to Jesus Christ in confessing our sins); Anointing of the Sick (oil of the sick); Holy Matrimony (one man and one woman in a covenant of love that is unique to a man and a woman because it is life-giving and unitive); and Holy Orders (a bishop, a successor to the Apostles, lays hands on and prays over men who are ordained deacons; when deacons are ordained priests, the bishop prays over and lays hands on them, and anoints their hands with Chrism oil; when a priest is ordained a bishop, another bishop prays over and lays hands on them and anoints their head with Chrism oil). Jesus Christ, God the Son, calls us to Himself in these spiritual and physical ways to strengthen and heal us and open our hearts to Him.

We can respond to His loving Presence by: loving God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves; keeping holy the Lord’s Day; praying every day for family, parish family, friends, strangers, ourselves; going to Confession regularly; fasting, doing works of penance; spending time with God’s Word and His Teachings in the Bible and Catechism; encountering Him in sacramentals, holy reminders of our faith in God’s presence, such as holy water, house blessings, crucifixes, the Rosary, and sacred images; telling the truth with love; helping the sick and suffering in our midst; telling people that you’re praying for them; inviting people back to Mass and our parish family (see catholicscomehome.org). Overall, by God’s grace, may our response to His presence in our life allow God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to sanctify our daily words and deeds, transforming those moments and conforming us to His Sacred Heart, so that we can truly love God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves. With our Lord’s love burning in our hearts, may we then encourage and invite our brothers and sisters, by our personal witness, to be faithful, hopeful and loving disciples of Jesus Christ, the Only Savior of the world.

With peace and prayers in Christ,
Fr. William