Listen to what the Gospel says; “They immediately recognized Jesus and scurried around the surrounding country to bring in the sick on mats. They brought all the sick people to him. And wherever he went, they begged him that they might just touch the tassel of his cloak.” In reading this passage there seems to be a certain sense of urgency.
What were all the people looking for? to be cured of various ailments.
And what did they need to be cured of their ailments? Faith and trust in Jesus; the faith that he indeed could heal them.
And what was Jesus looking for then, and now? Faith; and Jesus today looks for our faith, that we come to him and trust him; We can trust that he will make us well, if we but have faith.
Did you ever consider what type of faith Jesus would find in our nation today?
Do we seek out Jesus first with a sense of urgency for our troubles? How many immediately seek out Jesus for treatment and cures for various ailments? Do we have the faith to trust that Jesus can truly do this? Or do we go to Jesus when all else fails?
We have outstanding medical advances and treatments which can cure many diseases. How many, doctors or patients, give credit to Jesus for their cures? I would suspect that many think it was the doctors and researchers alone who provide the cure, totally forgetting that God provided the intelligence and the skills to effect the cure.
Thanks to the God-given skills that our medical community has, we can seek cures there, but to whom do we turn when we need spiritual healing?
That is where we need Jesus today, even as we thank him for providing the resources for our physical healing.
Not all physical ills will be healed; but our spiritual healing is never in doubt if we but approach Jesus with faith and trust.
As we begin Lent this week during this Year of Mercy let us turn to Jesus with a real sense of urgency. Let us seek healing and forgiveness found in his abundant mercy.
Today we celebrate two saints who were enslaved, and found freedom In Jesus.
St. Jerome Emiliani was a less than stalwart soldier. He was captured and put in a dungeon. There he had time to think and contemplate. He learned to pray and trust the Lord. He eventually escaped and was ordained a priest whose main concerns were with orphans and abandoned children.
Josephine Bahkita was an African slave from Sudan who was purchased by the Italian consul and brought to Italy; Eventually she was set free because slavery was illegal in Italy. She took instructions in the Church and after freedom joined the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa, where she served the community in a variety of ways.
Both saints today were able to overcome their slavery with the assistance of Jesus. We can do the same. Sts Jerome and Josephine, Pray for us.