Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

There are two ways that we can consider today’s gospel reading. First we can and we should look at these healings from the viewpoint of our own needs and those of our family or friends and then ask the Lord for healing in whatever area of our life. That is certainly valid. Ask, and you shall receive[1], the Lord said. We can ask the Lord and receive His care[2].

But there is also a second way we can and we should also look on: the viewpoint of the Lord. We are called to be followers of Christ. We are called to love as He loves. We are called to have compassion for the hurting. We are not called to judge the cause of their pain. We are called to care for them. And yet, sadly, some of us will say that a person’s condition is his or her own fault and then move on and away from them. In other words: so many see the cause of the sickness and not the sick people. Do those sick due to their own sinfulness merit less care from us than other people? Of course not! At least, not if we are followers of Christ!

It's true: there are times when it is difficult to care for a sick, especially caring for someone who is depressed or mentally ill –Alzheimer, mental retardation, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc- yet in all the sick person lives Jesus Christ.

On other Sundays we did self-examination on other issues: today is the turn to think our attitude toward the sick, the sick in body but also the sick in the soul.

When we get upset over how someone who is hurting or sick is treating us, then we are more concerned about ourselves than about that person who is sick; that wasn’t the way Jesus reacted to the sick, I mean He didn’t care if the woman had a situation which would have caused the temple priests to call Him defiled. He didn’t care if curing a person would get Him in trouble with the Pharisees or the authorities. He didn’t care if He had to drop everything and rush to the bedside of a little girl, enduring mockery in the process.

Jesus only was only concerned about those who hurt and who needed his healing.

Here in our parish we have a good number of people visiting the sick, many ministers who help the pastor to bring Holy Communion to the sick, many ministers who go to hospitals, but we still need more! The treasure of the Church have always been children, the sick, the needy, it is with them that Jesus was.

I feel very happy for the great support that we receive every month for our Friendship House, but sometimes I think that would make me happier if more parishioners told me: "Father, I want to visit the sick. I want to take communion to those who cannot come to the parish". I have the impression that sometimes the pastor is pushing people to work with God, when in fact the Christians themselves should take the lead.

If the love that unites us here every Sunday (we cannot forget that this is a matter of love) does not lead us to care for others (sick, disabled, depressed, etc...) Then we are wasting our time and we are not focused on what's important. As simple as this!

When a person dies of loneliness or sadness, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.

(Anyway) There is much to think, a lot food for thought. In a moment we will receive the food for the soul: the Body and Blood of Christ: are we ready to change our attitude towards the sick and those who need company and help?
May God's Spirit help us to reflect deeply through these things and help us to understand that we have an active participation in the healing power of our Lord Jesus Christ! ■

[1] Luke 11:9-12.
[2]Readings: Wis 1:13-15; 2:23-24, Ps 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13; 2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15, Mk 5:21-43 or 5:21-24, 35b-43.

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris