Jesus wants to see the face of the person he healed, not just answer her needs.
Just one verse each day.
Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
The desperation of a sick woman and that of a father whose daughter is dying are opportunities to find Jesus. Many of us have met God when we are desperately in need. And still, seeking God because we are desperate is not enough. We need to take the next step.
Jesus wants to see the face of the person he healed:
“Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?”’
He looked all round to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’
Jesus wants to look her in the eye because faith is not just about our despair meeting God’s grace. It is a personal encounter between you and Jesus. Unless we make it personal, our faith is not mature.
Something similar happens with Jairus. The Gospel says that he suddenly receives the news of his daughter’s death. Jesus speaks to him and tells him not to yield to desperation:
“Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’ But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’”
Faith grows and matures when one learns to trust completely in Jesus against all odds. In this total trust, Jesus can make substantial changes happen. Until we come to such confidence, we are still just outsiders trying to stalk divinity. But when we reach this level of confidence we are truly friends who know they are never left alone, especially when most in need.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.