5 February 2019. Memorial of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
Reflection (Sem. Carmelo V. Pocdol)
If there is one thing that I am proud of in my life is that I have faith in God. I can describe it as unwavering, deep, and genuine faith in Jesus Christ. It is my personal response to God who is present in my life; who gave me life, who knows my weaknesses and strengths, and who accepts and loves me unconditionally. Such faith is a conviction that whatever happens, God will not abandon me.
My faith in God is nurtured by the people who loved me – my family, friends, and the communities that I have been with. It was tested with trials, difficulties, and opportunities to hold on to God during the most trying moments in my life. I can share the many trials and challenges that have helped shape and firm up my faith in God, but what is more important to share is, my attitude during those trials and challenges.
Yes, I prayed for strength to surpass the challenges through the help of the people around me and above all from God who was with me as I experience these challenges. In prayer, I listened to Jesus. He answered just like in the Gospel today, “Do not be afraid, just have faith”. It would take a kind of faith in Jesus to listen and believe in what He is telling – a faith conquering fear.
My faith is one of the treasures I brought here in the seminary. Often, I face challenges in academics, community, and spiritual life in formation, but, I will always go back to what Jesus have said, “Do not be afraid, just have faith”. I have faith in Jesus who gazes on me every moment of my formation. He is the reason and subject of my faith. Upon knowing my faith and its purpose in my vocation, I can only do so much to nurture my faith. The rest, I have to offer back to God.
The Gospel Today
Mark 5: 21-43
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
“My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him
and a large crowd followed him.
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.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to him,
“You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, Who touched me?”
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
While he was still speaking,
people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said,
“Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
“Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child’s father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,”
which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.