June 28, 2015 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time Fr Jim Miller

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 28, 2015

Reading 1 Wis 1:13-15; 2:23-24

Responsorial Psalm Ps 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13

Reading 2 2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15

Alleluia Cf. 2 Tm 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 5:21-43

Homily— June 27 & 28 

  What a wonderful message in the first reading from Wisdom!   “God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.”   The reading goes on to state “But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world. . . “  Now we hear that death, like Job’s troubles, comes from the devil’s envy.  Our challenge is to have the courage to believe that what looks like death does not have the final word. I like to think of death as a doorway to a new and better life. Bill O’Malley, whose funeral I had today/yesterday was heard telling his wife Betty as she approached death “to put her foot in the door to keep it open for him because he would be not far behind her”!!  I like that image. To God death is like falling asleep until we wake to a new life.

  The second reading has Paul raising funds to help the Jerusalem community. Paul calls everyone to share what makes them rich, be it their gold or their faith.   When I gave to Catholic Relief Services recently I was helping the people in Nepal. When we use the pink envelopes after communion today we support Fr. Francis and his ministry among the people of India. I find that the more I give to help others and to help our parish the more I receive from the generosity of Christ. I just decided to give electronically each month to our parish but will still write a check and use envelopes for special occasions. If God is first in my life then my giving has to reflect that.  

  In the gospel of Mark we have a story within a story. I decided to put an oreo cookie inside of another to help me visualize what Mark did. You may not be able to see it but I am sure you can imagine it and probably would like to eat it!

  Jairus was waiting and hoping to see Jesus when Jesus came to shore and pleaded for Jesus to help his daughter who was at the point of death.  They started out with a big crowd of people around Jesus when he stopped to ask who had touched him. Jairus must have been impatient now as he was worried about his daughter but there is no indication as to what he was thinking about this delay.   Meanwhile we have this woman who was considered unclean and should have been isolated from contact with others approach and touch the cloak of Jesus with a strong faith that this was sufficient to heal her and it happened. When she responded to Jesus knowledge that someone had touched him she fell before him as did Jairus when he came to plead with Jesus. Jesus tells her that her faith has saved her and to go in peace and be cured of her affliction. After 12 years of isolation and failure to be cured she had thrown caution to the wind and reached out to Jesus. She was cured.  We might ask why healing does not always happen according to our prayer and expectation? Our prayer for healing is always answered, our expectation is not always met. Simply coming to Jesus is already a healing. So let us come in faith.

  People now come to inform Jairus of his daughter’s death but Jesus says “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” Jesus ignored the message of doom and encouraged Jairus to do the same, abandoning fear and holding onto faith as they continued going toward his home.  Not wanting a crowd of witnesses, Jesus allowed only the three prime disciples to accompany him and the girl’s parents into the house. Jesus simply went to the dead child, took her by the hand and called her to arise. To the astonishment of the other five in the room, she stood and walked around. Jesus asked for two things:  that nobody talk about the incident, and that they be sure the child got something to eat.

  Jesus only concern was for the ones whose lives were restored. If he wanted attention, it was attention to the life God offers those who have the faith to seek it.  When he called the woman out of anonymity, he accomplished two things: He highlighted her faith and their shared unconcern for restrictive rules; and he publicized the restoration of her health, thereby changing her status from outcast to celebrity. The twelve year old daughter was restored to life and the opportunity to live a life of faith.

  The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that states are required to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. We will continue to defend and share with others Jesus’ teaching on marriage, which re-asserted the original plan of creation, and which no one can rend asunder:

One man and one woman who freely give themselves to each other in a permanent and exclusive partnership, to be helpmates for each other, and to be open to conceiving and bringing up children.

We believe that this understanding of marriage does no harm; on the contrary, it serves the common good of society, as well as the good of family life, and of children.

   I do not know what it would be like to have a different orientation. I can only try to understand their struggles and their desire for happiness and fulfillment. Let us be humble and love and respect all others while holding them in prayer.


 Click here to listen to HOMILY http://nativity.podomatic.com/entry/2015-07-08T08_39_29-07_00