Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.
Do not be afraid; just have faith.
When you were growing up, did you watch the show, “Kids Say the Darndest Things”? In one clip I saw, Art Linkletter asked several kids questions about the biblical account of Adam and Eve. A little girl tried to explain the whole story, “After God made Adam, He put Adam to sleep and made Eve out of his rib.” Linkletter then asked, “What kind of rib”? The girl answered, “Rare ribs.” Linkletter then asked a little boy, “How did God punish Adam and Eve for eating the apple?” The little boy replied, “He made Adam sit down and write the entire bible,” and Linkletter interrupted, “And how about Eve?” The boy answered, “He made Eve a house wife.”
What we learn from the account of Adam and Eve and according to the teaching of our faith, the primary cause of evil, sickness and even of death, is sin in all its forms. We spend a lot of time talking about why we sin; take for example shows like Dr. Phil and even Judge Judy. In certain sense, just like the shows on TV all of us do this, to make entertainment out of why others sin. In the process of pointing fingers at others, we create a diversion away from pointing fingers at a more obvious place--us. We all have to admit that in humility, in the heart of each one of us is hidden this sickness, which affects all of us: the personal sin that buries itself more and more in our consciences to the extent that the sense of God is lost. We must take care not to let the sense of God weaken in us. Becoming distracted by the world and pursuing after things that may give us comfort can cause internal bleeding in us like what that woman suffered in the gospel. We cannot overcome evil with good or stop this draining of our inner joy and peace if we do not have this sense of God, of his action and presence inviting us always to put the stakes on grace, on life, against sin, against death.
For a change the woman in the gospel with internal bleeding did one thing that saved her. After spending all of her money on doctors to no avail, she mustered up her faith. She said to herself, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” When was the last time as you were struggling with something, you said from your heart, “Jesus, I need you”?
That’s mustering up our faith, acknowledging that there within our reach is Jesus whom we can touch, who will turn around and ask us, “Who touched me?” It is not that Jesus doesn’t know who touched him. But Jesus looks around, desiring that we meet his gaze and enter into a relationship with him. How Jesus longs for our gaze to meet his, yet how few are the occasions during the past week when we sincerely reached for him and said, “Jesus I need you. Will you listen to my troubles?” If there is one thing that keeps us from deliberately seeking Jesus is our fear—fear of our own failure, fear of our own uncleanliness. I once had a confession where the person explained how they were ashamed of what they did with their hands. After giving absolution, I took the palm of their hands and kissed them and said, “Go in peace.”
It is impossible to make Jesus unclean with our sins; rather, it is his touch that makes the unclean clean. And how he desires to heal his children! The same Jesus who calmed the stormy seas, driven out demons, and brought dead persons back to life, can even do the impossible—restoring us back to life from spiritual death caused by our sins against God and against our neighbor. What Jesus asks of us is small—small like a mustard seed. What Jesus asks us is to muster up our faith, “Jesus, I need you, this moment, this day. May I remember not to be distracted by the concerns and anxieties of the moment, but always to remember to reach out to you and to meet your gaze.”