Monday, June 29, 2009

Fear and Faith

Yesterday's Gospel quickly became one of my favorites. It's the story with the sick woman who touches Jesus' cloak and the synagogue official's dying daughter who is saved (Mark 5: 21-43). As the lovely Deacon Jose read the passage in his engaging Puerto Rican accent, the verse "Do not be afraid; just have faith" struck a chord within me. Those were words that I desperately needed to hear.

I'm afraid of a lot of things, but right now it is mostly the big changes coming up: the first time living without my family, going to college, and just life on my own. I'm not going to be too far away from my family and friends, but it is still scary. A lot of my friends are going through the same things now too, and others have non-collegiate changes to face.

I know that no matter where I go or what I do, God will always be right there with me. I guess I just forgot that fact these past few weeks. Hearing the Gospel was, well, what I needed to hear. There are times when we lose faith and fear starts to creep in. We can't let that happen. We just have to remember to have faith in Jesus. He'll take care of everything, and we need not be fearful. I realize that giving everything over to Him can be hard, but once we do, life takes its course in the direction that it needs to go. Our faith in God will save us.

I'm going to write out yesterday's Gospel. It's long, but it's well worth the read.

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 and pressed upon 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 Jesus, "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.


Fr. Christian Mathis said...

Glad you heard the Gospel yesterday. Being a little scared of new things can be good....having too much can hurt. As our faith say, "Perfect love casts out all fear!"

Ashley Siferd said...

Thanks FC. Part of your blog on the Liturgy was a big help too, at least getting me aware/paying attention!

Ken said...

You are wise beyond your years Ash. I'll heed your wisdom and have faith.


Elizabeth Mahlou said...

I guess this comment will come through to wherever on December 27. Anyway, I guess you made it through these changes just fine. Courage is not about having no fear. It is being able to do what should be done in spite of being afraid. With God at our side, courage is definitely within reach!

I don't think I have had a chance yet to wish you Merry Christmas! So, may the rest of the season be a blessed one for you.