In today’s gospel (see bottom of this page) there are two healing miracles of Jesus. Those requesting the miracles were tuned into Jesus’ presence but really believed in his goodness and divine power. Two thousand years later the gift of faith allows those who possess it to similarly tune into Jesus’ presence, goodness and divine power. What is the basis of this wonderful gift? This question is answered by the following commentary on last Sunday’s Mass readings. It comes from the National Catholic Register website. It is entitled “Why we can’t find Jesus.”
Sometimes we have trouble seeing Jesus in our lives. Maybe we are stressed out in a way that doesn’t match the peace he promised. Maybe we feel stretched thinner than the “abundant life” he promised. Maybe we feel we have sought but not found; that we have knocked, but the door has not been opened.
Today Jesus tells us why.
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to little ones,” he says.
The wise and learned don’t see him. Those who are not “little” do not see him.
Those busy succeeding on the world’s terms don’t see him. Those who want to have everything their way don’t see him. The contentious, argumentative people who always have to be right don’t see him. Those who are always searching for the more comfortable, easy way to please themselves don’t see him.
Today’s first reading from Zechariah amplifies the point by reminding us who God is. “He shall banish the chariot,” a symbol of power. He will banish “the warrior’s bow,” a symbol of conflict. “His dominion shall be from sea to sea,” leaving no room for any other dominion — including those of us who try to dominate at work, at home, or in whatever room we happen to be in at any given moment.
Instead, he will come to us “meek and riding on an ass.”
He isn’t what we expect.
He doesn’t prove he is right. He doesn’t force himself on anyone. He doesn’t imperiously demand his way. He just quietly is who he is and invites us to follow him.
“You are not in the flesh,” says St. Paul in the second reading. “On the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.”
Those who live according to the flesh won’t follow him, because they don’t let the Spirit of God in. Those who try to impress with wealth, position or prestige, won’t follow him, because the spirit of Christ is not in them.
But he does tell us who will follow him. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest,” Jesus says. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.”
The tired see him.
The overworked see him.
Those looking for rest see him.
Those who have given up expecting the world to satisfy them are ready to look for him.
Only when we finally get in line with the “little ones” do we see Jesus.
Those who stare at their phone don’t see the sunset, those who stay in the office don’t feel the breeze, those who always have to prove themselves never get to know themselves, and those who look to the world’s comforts are restless forever.
The little ones have found the truth and true peace and purpose: “Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.”
Tom Hoopes is writer in residence at Benedictine College
and author of The Fatima Family Handbook.
Gospel Matthew 9:18-26
My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and her life will be saved
While Jesus was speaking to them, up came one of the officials, who bowed low in front of him and said, ‘My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and her life will be saved’. Jesus rose and, with his disciples, followed him.
Then from behind him came a woman, who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years, and she touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, ‘If I can only touch his cloak I shall be well again’. Jesus turned round and saw her; and he said to her, ‘Courage, my daughter, your faith has restored you to health’. And from that moment the woman was well again.
When Jesus reached the official’s house and saw the flute-players, with the crowd making a commotion he said, ‘Get out of here; the little girl is not dead, she is asleep’. And they laughed at him. But when the people had been turned out he went inside and took the little girl by the hand; and she stood up. And the news spread all round the countryside.
The Word of the Lord.