14 Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 8, 2018
Last Sunday, our Readings were like a brilliant finale to a 4th of July fireworks display. Even as the dark night sky is filled with color and light and sound, the story of a miracle interrupted by a miracle filled the darkness in the lives of people struggling with sickness and even death.
As we hear this story of multiple healings, it’s difficult to know where to focus our attention. Should we simply enjoy the wonder and awe of the lady who stopped hemorrhaging by simply touching the hem of Jesus’s robe? Or should we shift our gaze to a 12-year-old girl who was brought back to life? There’s so much going on here, it’s hard to know where to look. It seems almost impossible to take it all in. It might help to look back to what triggered this grand display of healing.
Skyrockets don’t light themselves. The fuse needs to be lit. Maybe the lesson from last week is that Jesus’s healing doesn’t ignite itself, either. Wasn’t it the faith of the two whose lives were shrouded in darkness that sparked an incredibly beautiful display of Jesus’s healing power?
Consider the last line in this Sunday’s Epistle: For when I am weak, then I am strong. Is St. Paul telling us that it is our weakness that ignites Jesus’s healing powers?
Well, there is no doubt that Jesus embodied compassion. Throughout the Gospels, we repeatedly see The Lord taking notice of and responding to those in desperate need. But His visit to His hometown appears to clue us in to what turned His compassion into healing…what lit the fuse that exploded into a brilliant miracle…FAITH!
The Lord was unable to penetrate the darkness that engulfed His own hometown because of the obstinance of the hearts of The people who lived there…the people among whom He was raised.
We needed both last week’s Gospel…the grand display of healing…as well as the description of Jesus’s unfortunate visit to Nazareth, in order to appreciate that our weakness triggers Jesus’s unlimited compassion, but it is our faith that ignites His healing powers.