“Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”
“Do not be afraid. Just have faith.”
And they ridiculed him.
Faith requires courage.
Faith builds courage.
It took great courage for the woman, considered unclean because of her bleeding, to mingle in the crowd who followed you, Lord. In reaching out to touch your cloak, she was beyond brave. She was audacious.
What made her so bold? Some would say desperation, but many desperate people are driven to sin, alienation, and even suicide. You gave her the grace of faith, and she gave it back to you.
The temple official fell on his knees before an itinerant preacher who healed on the Sabbath and ate with sinners. He, too, was desperate, irreconcilable to the imminent loss of his little daughter. Yet, somehow, he believed that you would save her, and he was humble enough to approach you.
When his servants came to tell him that his was already dead, you said, “Do not be afraid. Just have faith.” He trusted you.
When you told the mourners that the girl was only sleeping, they ridiculed you. Without faith, they could only deride what was beyond their understanding.
Who am I in this story, Lord? Am I the woman who has spent all her time and money on doctors who could do nothing for her? Do I reach out to touch you, even when I am on the brink of despair and cynicism?
Am I the temple official, trained to observe the letter of the law, and yet somehow knowing the spirit of it?
Or am I a mourner, pausing in my display of grief to laugh at a mad man who doesn’t know the difference between sleep and death?
My mind wants to put everything in a test tube and analyze it, to adhere scrupulously to logic. Someone said, “The mind is a judging machine.” How can I be open to you when I am judging? Let my mind rest. “Receive … my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my entire will … Give me only your grace.” (Suscipe of St. Ignatius Loyola)
You, alone, Lord are sufficient. Suspend my vanity, my resistance, my words and my thoughts while I rest in you.