MONDAY 5TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME GOSPEL, COMMENTARY. THE PRAYER OF “TOUCH” (Mk 6:53-56).
GOSPEL OF MONDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
AS MANY AS TOUCHED THE TASSEL ON HIS CLOAK WERE HEALED
After making the crossing to the other side of the sea, Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret and tied up there. As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him. They scurried about the surrounding country and began to bring in the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed.
- After the multiplication of the loaves and the calming of the storm, a new summary describes the activity of Jesus in a series of miracles. In many of them there is a personal encounter of Jesus with men, and on the part of them, we see an acceptance of the person of Jesus, the Savior, whom they seek.
- Saint John Chrysostom observes: “They no longer approach him as at the beginning: they do not force him to go to their own homes, or to impose his hands on their sick, or to send to say his word. They now gain the healing in a higher way, more wisely through a greater faith. The woman with hemorrhage had taught everyone this wisdom. Moreover, the Evangelist himself implies that, the Lord had been in those areas before… However, the time Jesus wasn’t there not only had not destroyed the faith of those people in the Lord, it had not only kept it alive, but it had increased it. “ Let us also touch the hem of his garment; moreover, for the truth is that now his Body itself is placed before us, let’s not just touch his garment, but His Body above all. It is not only present to touch Our Lord, but to eat him and be nourished with his flesh. Let us therefore approach Him with a living faith, each one carrying his own illness “(Homilies on St. Matthew 50, 2).
- The Gospel passage which narrates the healing of those who touched the hem of Our Lord’s garment (Mk 6:55-56), somehow justifies a kind of prayer which we could call, “THE PRAYER OF TOUCH”.
- Sincere affection, faith and love towards someone are demonstrated not only with one’s interior faculties (imagination, memory, will) but also through exterior works.
- Prayer also is manifested in the same way: not only interiorly but also through outward manifestations such as touching, kissing, bowing, genuflecting…for all these proceed from an interior disposition of love, faith, adoration, petition, sorrow, and thanksgiving.
- Hence, we should not be scandalized if we see someone who manifests his piety by touching or kissing a sacred image, such as a Crucifix, an image of Our Lord, or of Our Lady or the saints, for when one does so, he is doing it to what is represented by the image itself, as when one kisses a picture of a person he loves.
TOPIC: WHO ARE YOUR TRUE FRIENDS?
In today’s gospel reading, Jesus and His disciples crossed over to the other side of the sea to Gennesaret. Gennesaret sits on the western border of the Sea of Galilee. The apostles were just coming from Bethsaida on the northern side and were in the boat when they were buffeted by strong winds and high waves and saw Jesus walking towards them as they were in a state of panic. Today, we reflect about friendship. Who do you consider your friend? What makes a friend a friend? Is Jesus also your friend?
READING FROM A SAINT
From the knowledge of Jesus Christ flows the understanding of the whole of holy Scripture
(St. Bonaventure, Breviloquium)
The stream of holy Scripture flows not from human research but from revelation by God. It springs from the Father of lights, from whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth takes its name. From him, through his Son Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit flows into us; and through the Holy Spirit, giving, at will, different gifts to different people, comes the gift of faith, and through faith Jesus Christ has his dwelling in our hearts.
This is the knowledge of Jesus Christ which is the ultimate basis of the solidity and wisdom of the whole of holy Scripture. From all this it follows that it is impossible for anyone to start to recognise Scripture for what it is if he does not already have faith in Christ infused into him. Christ is the lamp that illuminates the whole of Scripture: he is its gateway and its foundation. For this faith is behind all the supernatural enlightenments that we receive while we are still separated from the Lord and on our pilgrimage. It makes our foundation firm, it directs the light of the lamp, it leads us in through the gateway. It is the standard against which the wisdom that God has given us should be measured, so that no-one should exaggerate his real importance, but everyone must judge himself soberly by the standard of the faith God has given him.
The substance and fruit of holy Scripture is very specific: the fullness of eternal happiness. For this is what Scripture is – its words are words of eternal life, and it is written not just so that we should believe, but specially so that we should possess eternal life in which we may see, and love, and have all our desires fulfilled. When they are fulfilled, then we shall know the superabundant love that comes from knowledge, and so we shall be filled with all the fullness of God. God’s Scripture tries to lead us to this fullness, and to the truth of the preaching of the apostles. It is to this end, with this intention, that we should study holy Scripture, and teach it, and hear it.
If we are to follow the direct path of Scripture and come straight to the final destination, then right from the beginning – when simple faith starts to draw us towards the light of the Father – our hearts should kneel down and ask the Father to give us, through his Son and the Holy Spirit, true knowledge of Jesus and of his love. Once we know him and love him like this, we shall be made firm in faith and deeply rooted in love, and we can know the breadth, length, depth and height of holy Scripture. That news can then lead us to the full knowledge and overwhelming love of the most holy Trinity. The desires of the saints draw them towards the Trinity, in which all that is good and true is and finds its completion.
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