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The good news for the day January 31, 2017

Tuesday of the fourth Week in Ordinary Time (324)

(There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.) This woman had heard about Jesus. She came up behind him in the crowd—and touched his cloak. She was saying to herself, “If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll be cured.” Right away, her flow of blood dried up. (She felt in her body that she was cured.) Jesus, suddenly aware that power had gone out from Him, turned around in the crowd asking, “Who has touched my clothes?” His followers, though, said to him, “You see how these people are so tightly pressing upon you—and you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” Jesus was looking around, though, to see who had done it. The woman, realizing what had happened to her, identified herself to him in fear and trembling. She collapsed in front of Jesus—told him her whole story. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and stay cured of your affliction. (Mark 5)

This incident is parenthetical to the Roman officer coming to Jesus—and Jesus going to help the Roman Officer. Scholars remind us that these two stories highlight the healing of very different people, different methods and different afflictions that Jesus deals with. Different—they illustrate the spectrum of differences in daily life—a significant leader asking for someone else’s health, versus a woman humbly seeking a very private healing for herself.

The real point, however, is more elusive—it is faith—faith in being helped by someone they barely know. In their felt need, they believe that they can be helped—that they WILL be helped—that brings them to Jesus.

Jesus comes to the officer’s house because of the man’s humble faith—but He knows nothing of the woman’s faith—and so it is with you and me. We do not know the seeds of life, hope, and faith we plant in people’s hearts. Sometimes people ask our help; other times power just goes out from us….

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