Sunday Says Podcast – June 28, 2015 Mass Readings and Reflections
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (NAB Translation)
Welcome to the Sunday Says podcast for June 28, 2015, the thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. Thank you for joining us as we open up the Word of God to prepare our hearts and minds for this Sunday’s Mass. This week we take a look at Jesus’ approach to suffering and death, the unavoidable results of sin and separation from God. As we reflect on these readings, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten us, to help us better understand how by our faith through our suffering, God can provide healing to our souls and give us a life that will outlive death. As always our readings are taken from the Jerusalem translation for copyright purposes. Let’s dive in.
In the first reading from the book Wisdom, we see that God did not make death. Death is not of God, for God is the very essence of life. In fact death is really not a “thing” at all, but rather a lack of something- that is a lack or absence of life, which results from sin. Since God is life itself, and human beings were made in the image of God, life is our natural state and death is an unnatural consequence of sin. The 20th century writer and theologian Monsignor Romano Guardini perhaps stated it best when he said, that “because Jesus is entirely alive, Jesus dominates death. Christ conquers death by conquering him who reigns in death: Satan.” By uniting ourselves to Christ, we see how we can be freed and forgiven of sin and thus conquer death as well.
The response for the responsorial Psalm 30 is:
I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.
Perhaps we can use this Psalm and its response to reflect on the many ways in which God has rescued us.
In our second reading from his second letter to the Corinthians, we see St. Paul appealing to the Gentile church in Corinth to show fraternal unity with the Jewish church in Jerusalem by taking up a collection to support the Jerusalem church. Paul gives the example of Christ’s very own charity and generosity, for Jesus willingly gave up everything for our sake. This is the sense of detachment that all Christians should seek as we join forces to help bear the burden for others in need.
In our reading from St. Mark’s gospel, we see the beauty of Christ’s compassion on people who are in desperate, and apparently hopeless situations. The synagogue official, Jairus, has a daughter who is seriously ill to the point of death. Notice that death does not faze Jesus, because Jesus knows himself to have power over death. When Jairus’ servants tell Jesus that the girl has died, Jesus gently states that she is not dead but rather asleep. St. Bede says, “To men’s eyes she was dead, she could not be awoken; in God’s eyes she was sleeping, for her soul was alive and was subject to God’s power.” The second part of this story involves the woman who suffered from an illness of bleeding which not only caused physical suffering, but emotional as well, as she was considered ritually impure. Despite attempts by the conventional physicians, and having spent all her money she had not been cured. In her final desperation she attempts to make contact with Jesus in a discrete way hoping to go unnoticed. Since she is considered ritually unclean she comes from behind and attempts to touch the hem of his garment. But she cannot go unnoticed, for Jesus is aware of the power that has gone out of him to heal her and so he asks “Who touched me?.” The woman comes back frightened and trembling only to see the mercy of Jesus who tells her to go in peace. These two interwoven stories speak one truth to us: that although man has no power on his own, faith works miracles. Jesus responds in mercy even to people who only come to him in desperation.
Gospel Meditation from Bishop Vasquez
Jesus tells the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” Offer up, in prayer, whatever is troubling you. Take time to imagine Jesus speaking these powerful and consoling words to you personally.