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THE LOVE OF A FATHER

Father Francis's picture
Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

2 Sam. 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30-19:3. & Mk. 5:21-43

David loved his son Absalom although he had turned against his father and wanted to kill him and usurp his throne. But when word reached David that his son had been killed, he reacted as a father, not as an enemy.

Some may have thought that such news would have brought relief and even joy. But not to David. The bond with his son was so strong that the news brought only sorrow.

Through Baptism God has become our Father. In our time of need He looks upon us with even greater concern and tenderness than David had for Absalom. In every circumstance of life God reacts to us as our Father.

He is never impatient, never wanting to take revenge for the wrong we do Him, never thoughtless, never too preoccupied with other matters to be concerned about us.

When sickness or poor health is prolonged it can seem, somehow, that God is no longer moved by our misery, that He has forgotten us and abandoned us. But God is only seemingly absent, for He never leaves us. He is creating a new set of circumstances wherein we can experience Him at a wholly new level. The long, hard and persevering fight to walk in hope enables God to bring about greater fruits of holiness in us.

What do we see in the woman with a hemorrhage and in Jairus, father of the dying daughter, in today's Gospel reading? We see a mature and vibrant faith. They never doubted that Jesus could help them. These two miracles teach us what faith in Jesus can produce if we put our full trust in Him.
Many people were brushing against Him that day, but only one touched Him and got His full attention. She made an act of unconditional faith, open to whatever would happen because of Jesus’ response. Those who suffer patiently with faith and prayer can experience new levels of union with Christ, if they look upon all suffering as a gift from God whereby He enables them to reach a higher level of union with Him.

How different were the friends of Jairus. They had no faith in Jesus. In times of illness we can be tempted to abandon trust in God and say, 'Let’s be realistic there is no help for us.' It is then that we indicate a weak and sterile faith that works only when everything makes sense to us and is easy. Where there is this lack of faith, Christ cannot work.

So let our prayer be,
“Lord let us use our sickness and ill health to build newer levels of trust and intimacy with You.
Open our hearts to seek You on Your terms.
I do not ask You for happiness or sorrow, Health or sickness, goods or evils; for goods are misfortunes if You do not come with them. And misfortunes are goods if they arrive with You.
For goods without You, what good would they be?
And misfortunes with You, are they not the best goods?”
If we are not in the best of health let our resolution be to acknowledge the presence of Christ in all the sickness being suffered today.
Always remember the sick were the special friends of Jesus: He proved this by giving them the Sacrament of the Sick. He always made time for them. No one suffered like Jesus and He made use of His suffering to renew our world.
Lord Jesus, when we are sick help us to make use of our suffering by uniting it to that of Yours and offering it up … perhaps for a lapsed member of the family, or the lapsed Catholics of the parish, or for the Holy Souls in Purgatory so that, in some way, it can be put to good purpose.

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