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. She had heard about Jesus and came up to 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…He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
As I read today’s Gospel, I felt like the Holy Spirit was helping me decode a secret message. I don’t know why, but every word seemed to have a hidden meaning.
There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages... I was losing all the color, joy or pleasure for my life. I was becoming stone cold, pale, and lifeless towards life. And it was all happening very quickly. I was hemorrhaging.
She had suffered greatly…at the hands of many. I know the feeling. I know a few people in my life that have wiped away my smile, crushed my day, and demolished my evening and ruined my life! I have found myself a slave to others, at their mercy, and they have failed to help me. I have nowhere else to turn to. I have nowhere else to go. She had spent all that she had…I can no longer cover up my pain with my possessions, titles, talents or blinds. This world no longer gives me an alibi for living.
She had heard about Jesus…I was not a follow. I was not a believer. I represent the vast majority of people in the world. In my lifetime, I heard a lot about Jesus, but I never had a reason to turn to him. Now, I finally have a reason, a selfish reason. I need help.
She came up to him in the crowd… The crowd! They always seem to get in the way of everything. I either follow them or get lost in them! But this time, it is a cover. I can always hide in the crowd. I can work my way through the crowd, and while all eyes are on Jesus, I can touch him and no one will know. Here is my chance. I can do it. I can go to Church and sit in the back and not be noticed. I can listen to His Word and follow the homily without paying a cent. I can always get something out of God, even the tiniest morsel from the poorest loaf. If I can put a little effort, then I can reach him. “All saints give testimony to the truth that without real effort, no one ever wins the crown” (Thomas Becket). If I can touch his cloak…then maybe, just maybe, I can be healed. Maybe, just maybe, I can change my life for good!
Immediately, her flow of blood dried up…There is nothing more beautiful, more exciting, and more thrilling in life than to be loved. It is better than being healed! It is far better than being right. To be loved means to really exist; to have your existence recognized. To be loved means to really be special and important. The Lord was not about to let this woman go away or get lost in the middle of the crowd. It was important for her to know the truth: “You are loved.” It was important for her to know the reason: “You believed.”
Your faith has saved you…I will be honest with you. I have always tried to live my life based on calculations. It doesn’t work. I have tried to live my life based on logical conclusions. It doesn’t work. I have tried to live my life based on my talents, strengths, education, position, money and reputation. It doesn’t work. What works? What saves? My faith in God. My faith in His mercy and love.
Go in peace and be cured of your afflictions…I know that in my life I may never experience what this woman experienced. But by faith, I know that the possibility is always there for my loss to turn into gain, my pain into compassion, and my sorrow into joy. I may say, “This is impossible.” But God says, “All things are possible to those who believe.”