Sunday, June 28, 2009

If You Really Listen - Sometimes You Get the Message

Sometimes in Mass on Sundays - I miss everything. I can be reading along with the Gospel and miss the whole thing.

Other times - I hear but I don't take anything away from the message.

In these moments, I feel that maybe I'm just not holy enough. Or not trying hard enough. If I were more prayerful, if I trusted God more... maybe He would speak to me. Maybe I could be uplifted. I just must not be trying hard enough.

But sometimes, God hits me right between the eyes.

Our Gospel reading this Sunday was from Mark 5:21-43. A story I am familiar with... but this time I learned something new.

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.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind 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.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who has touched my clothes?"
But his disciples said to Jesus,
"You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, 'Who touched me?'"
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."
Who touched me?
Are you serious? This huge crowd has been jostling you the whole way and now you want to know who touched you?!
But the Lord felt His healing power leave His body. She only touched His cloak.

Jesus doesn't ask me to be perfect. Not even perfect in prayer. He only asks that I reach out to Him. To reach out to Him, confident that He will help me.

That's an area I struggle with. Sometimes I come to Jesus in prayer with a flawed mindset. "Lord, please heal my loneliness. Show me a good man who loves You. Someone I can love, marry and have children with. I mean, I know You're not going to give me a husband, I'm pretty sure you don't even want to... but I'm asking anyway."

That is no way to reach out for His cloak! No! When we reach out to just touch his cloak... reaching out in faith, even among all the other people in the world... He knows it. He feels it!

I had to blink back tears with this realization!
I had to tell a friend! My friend MIME listened to my news and reminded me... what about the other part of the story? The part that sent Jesus walking through town at the request of the synagogue officials, Jairus whose daughter was near death. Jairus asked Jesus to come touch her and heal her.

While he was still speaking,
people from the synagogue official's house arrived and said,
"Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?"
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
"Do not be afraid; just have faith."
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
"Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep." And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out.
He took along the child's father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum,"
which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!"
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.
MIME reminded me, when these people doubted that anything could be done - Jesus put them out.
You don't have faith? Get away from me!

This is our God. He doesn't ask us to be perfect. He asks us to believe. To have faith. Even a little bit of faith. Like a mustard seed. Just this little bit of faith - He knows. He knows your need. He knows your faith. He feels it. It matters. He cares.

If we ask or expect without faith - forget it.
Fair enough if you ask me.
I need to line up my thinking and remember that my God wants the best for me. He longs for me to have the desires of my heart. If I only have FAITH.

Scripture copied from: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops - New American Bible


Anonymous said...

Our pastor is doing the top 50 events from the life of Christ and this one was mentioned as a top event. You might like to hear it.

Jenni said...

oh my....again, you are writing words that echo what is going on in my heart and soul as well.....our preacher is doing a series on the names of God and last week was Jehovah-Jireh (God who provides) and yesterday was Jehovah-Rophe (God who heals).....both Sundays I cried through the service as those names spoke so strongly to me

Heidi said...

Thank you! I love that story and it has even greater significance as I get older. I've been thinking a lot about hope and faith lately--how intertwined they are--and realizing that I hope to have the faith that I can be healed from whatever is wrong in my soul. I plant that little seed in faith, hoping it will grow and I'll become who He needs me to be. I love those moments of clarity and I'm so grateful we can have those just when we need them most.

God is good. The Savior understands. My life is blessed.

auntie said...

this is something i've been struggling with as well when i pray. many times my thoughts are so jumbled up that i can't make a coherence sentence out of them. when that happens, i picture myself wadding everything up in a big ball and handing it over to God, and i've found that i do feel more peaceful afterwards.

i've also had some trouble lately praying for what i know i SHOULD be praying for versus what i WANT to be praying for, i.e. not putting my wants before God's will. i have to do the same thing when that happens...i just say to God "i don't know how to pray about this right now because i know i don't desire the right things, but i know You have a plan for this situation. give me (and whoever else it might affect) wisdom and strength and faith to make it through this." and it's wonderful to know that i can give Him all that ugly, old, scuffed-up JUNK and He will make it into something beautiful and purposeful!

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Sometimes it's so good to read other people's learnings...I love to hear how Scripture hits you where you are. Thanks for posting!

marina said...

there are times in my life when praying is all I want to
do de-well with our father and prise him I think of Diavd going into his court room with thanksgiving in my heart and I ask the Lord to keep me close to his heart.
lately I have felt bad b/c i have really been too busy to stop and listen so I remember "the joy of the Lord is my streghten and
thought on these" VS

and the Lord bless me and I flet his love,.

don;t ever give up praying for what you want God hears and he does answer he always does. marina

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I have struggled for years to have faith that God will bring me a mate. I have grown in this area and continue to grow. Thank you for your candor as it has helped me and so many others.

Anonymous said...

I do love reading your blog. So much insight on so many matters. This is great stuff! Thanks for sharing :)