The Gospel Today
Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward,
knelt down before him, and said,
“My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.”
Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him
and touched the tassel on his cloak.
She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.”
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said,
“Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.”
And from that hour the woman was cured.
When Jesus arrived at the official’s house
and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.”
And they ridiculed him.
When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand,
and the little girl arose.
And news of this spread throughout all that land.
Reflection (Sem. Jul Elden D. Nuique)
“Your faith has saved you.” These words of Jesus to the woman in today’s Gospel resonates deeply within me. I, too, long for salvation, even though I know how unworthy I am of it.
Last summer, I had the privilege of staying for a month in our bishop’s residence. I was able to know our local ordinary much better, not just in terms of his responsibilities to the diocese, but also of his personal quirks. I could not help but compare his life to mine. He came from a prominent family whose piety and financial capability permitted him to enter the high school seminary. He was also a genius at school and was sent to study theology in Rome. His priestly ministry, although discreet, included several assignments that were sensitive and integral to the Philippine Church. It was no surprise that when he was elevated to the episcopacy, his tasks as a bishop became even more vital, peaking at fifty years of serving the people of God as an ordained minister.
On the other hand, I only entered the seminary five years ago, after more than three decades of helping my family, carving out a career, and running my life as I saw fit. I am no academic prodigy, my records are plain and mediocre, at best. When I finish the seminary, I hope to serve the Church for at least three decades, which would make me a priest at seventy, two decades shy of my bishop’s record. In short, I have nothing to bring to the table, as the expression goes.
All I have is the faith that God called me to this priestly life. My hope that I will be given the strength to fulfill the plan of God is what keeps me strong despite my struggles. The love that I received from God, which I do my best to make a return, either to him or to his people, proves that I am sustained in this life-choice. Like the hemorrhagic woman, I pray that my best effort is blessed by God, and I hope to hear, “Your faith has saved you.”