Capernaum, December 2008

The manager of a large office noticed a new man one day and told him to come into his office. “What is your name?” was the first thing the manager asked him. “John,” the new guy replied. The manager scowled, “Look, I don’t know what kind of a namby-pamby place you worked at before, but I don’t call anyone by their first name. It breeds familiarity and that leads to a breakdown in authority. I refer to my employees by their last name only - Smith, Jones, Baker - that’s all. I am to be referred to only as Mr. Robertson. Now that we got that straight, what is your last name?” The new guy sighed and said, “Darling. My name is John Darling.” “Okay, John, the next thing I want to tell you is…”

Both of them were nameless. One was the woman with the hemorrhage; the other was the daughter of a synagogue official. For twelve years she suffered. And that same year when blood poured out from her in relentless passion, the girl was born. The girl grew up with money, while the woman had to use up all that she had in search of a cure. The girl had a family to love her and friends to appreciate her while the woman found nothing and no one in her hope that her illness would end.

The woman with the hemorrhage heard about Jesus and she began to have faith. She believed that if she could touch just the clothes of our saving Lord, she would be cured. The girl’s father Jairus, on the other hand, felt the same way as the woman. His daughter was sick and he believed that if Jesus could lay his hands on his daughter, then she would get well and live.

This is a lesson we should constantly remember. When everything all else fails, try Jesus. There are some among us here who, at one point in our lives, had experienced what this woman felt: lost expectations and trust, broken dreams and families, financial bankruptcy, loneliness and aloneness, hopeless end.

There are some among us here who must have also felt what Jairus experienced: the painful hours of watching a loved one suffer and die, the excruciating pain of knowing that the end is soon to come and that hoping for the end is the only kind solution. There are some among us here who are down on our knees praying that the good Lord will listen to us and our plea.

Take the example of the woman. Large crowds pressed around her, but she was determined. This woman is telling us that for as long as we live, we should never lose hope. Beyond the things that limit us, beyond the things that frustrate us, beyond the things that hinder us, do not give up.

It does not mean that God is not listening to us if our prayers remain unanswered. God lives in his silence. It does not mean that God no longer likes us or loves us if our prayers seem to have fallen in deaf ears. God is not deaf, but deep. He hears the sounds of our voice, just as he hears the sounds in our hearts. He knows what we most need and when we need it the most.

Sometimes, God’s answer to our prayer is delayed. When Jesus arrived at the house of Jairus, the girl was already dead. The crowd ridiculed him, but he was determined. He brought her from the dead. Jesus is telling us that there are no hopeless situations in suffering and death. Out of them comes life.

Just imagine if God would give us anything that we pray for. There would be no more hospitals. Nobody would die anymore. We would all be winners in the lottery. Everything would be like heaven. But we are not yet in heaven. Earth is our training ground.

The trick is we conquer pain, suffering and death. And we can only do that if we follow the only person who conquered pain, suffering and death: Jesus our Savior. He knows what is happening in our lives. He knows who we need most and why we need him the most.

Beyond the heartaches and pains caused by those we love, beyond the senselessness and boredom presented by the way we live, beyond the delay and interruption brought about by the way we believe, have faith in God.

And know that God calls us by a name that we all share: Darling. We are God's Beloved.

28 June 2009

1 comment:

melky said...

Great homily, reverend.

Hope based on faith is a perfect virtue. Those who practice this virtue do not wait. Their mantra: It will come.