YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
THEME: FAITH IN GOD
BY: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
HOMILY: Sometimes, at the heart of the challenges and troubles we face in life could be the result of wrong evaluation of what we have and the inability to recognise the solutions to our problems that God offers us in the most simple ways. In Jesus Christ we find the solution to all the possible problems of humanity. Even death the greatest of all the obstructions of human life meets its end in Christ. May our faith in Christ bring us to enjoy the full merits of His Mission for our sake; Amen.
The Gospel Reading (Mark 5:21-43) presents us with the account of two notable miracles performed by our Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry. First in the series was the healing of the “woman who had suffered a haemorrhage for twelve years” and then the raising of Jairus daughter back to life. The personalities at the centre of these miracles indicate to us that nobody is so rich or important in the Society that he or she has no need of God. Likewise, nobody is so poor and irrelevant in the Society that he or she cannot encounter the power of God, especially when moved by the proper disposition. Jairus was a Synagogue official, well known and appreciated by his people whereas this woman was a simple person living her simple life under the grave torment of sickness for twelve years. Her name was not mentioned; she had simply become synonymous with her sickness. There are some traits common with the attitudes and disposition of both Jairus and the unnamed woman. Firstly is the humility in them to recognise the limits of human efforts. There are things we cannot do for ourselves. Irrespective of how powerful or weak we become, we must always recognise that we were never created with the capacity to solve all problems. Purporting to have the ability to solve all problems is part of the illusions of modern man and woman. There are things only the Creator can do. This woman’s sickness was curable; but it was also beyond every human intervention. The condition of the daughter of Jairus was redeemable, but it was never within human power to directly or indirectly effect it. Being humble to recognise the limits of human power forms part of the foundation for a happy and fulfilled life. Secondly, is the Wisdom to recognise God’s presence in our midst. While many were busy arguing whether Jesus was the Messiah or not; or whether He was performing miracles with the power of Belzebul or not, Jairus saw the plenitude of divinity in Christ because only God can heal or even eventually bring back to life; “my little daughter is desperately sick. Do come and lay your hands on her to make her better and save her life.” The woman on her part said, “if I can touch even his clothes, she had told herself I shall be well again.” Being wise to recognise the presence of God in our midst, offering us the solution to our problems, is a great sign of both spiritual and physical maturity. Thirdly, being courageous to make the bold step towards God. God does not reject anybody who approaches Him with a sincere heart. God never intends to devour anybody. On the contrary, He is merciful and kind. When we courageously approach God, we must be certain to receive the best remedies to all of our handicaps and dolorous conditions. The underlying principle of these attitudes is faith in God. It was faith in God that inspired the words, actions and reactions of Jairus and the woman suffering from haemorrhage.
Faith makes us humble! Faith makes us wise especially in spiritual things and in the administration of the things of this world! Faith makes us courageous, because with faith we grow in certainty of the promises God made to us and of God’s power to effect such promises in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Faith brings us to understand and appreciate God for what He has done for us in Christ as we heard in the Second Reading (2 Corinthians 8:7,9,13-15); “He was rich, but He became poor for your sake, to make you rich out of His poverty.” Faith brings us to cooperate with God by positively responding to all of God’s promptings within us. Faith brings us to understand and appreciate the beauty of Creation and to properly comprehend the place of human beings in the created order. In faith, we come to terms with the fact that God “takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living. To be, for this He created all” (Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24). Faith opens our spiritual and mental faculties to understand the mission of the Devil; “it was the devil’s envy that brought death into the world, as those who are his partners will discover.” Faith shows us the absurdity of failing to cooperate with God and the folly of building alliance with the Devil whose mission is to temporally and eternally destroy us. Faith leads us closest to God even in our most miserable states like it was for Jairus and for the woman with haemorrhage.
Lord God, in the many confusions of our lives caused by the daily influx of problems and difficulties, help us to always be humble to acknowledge the limits of our power as to openly profess in words and deeds our need of You. Help us with the wisdom to recognise and appreciate Your presence in our midst. Help us with the courage to seek You always all the days our live; Amen. Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE