Life Not Death

Greetings on this the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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
Notes: The SURFSIDE, Fla. building collapse is in my region. We remember the lost, injured and missing.

Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam dayan ha’emet.

This translates to : Blessed are You, Adonai Our God, Ruler of the Universe, the True Judge.

The healing ministry of the Lord.

I have been keeping a thread between the readings these past two days. Abraham and Sarah received affirmation of life. The Blessed Mother in a different way the same. The Gospel readings are healing in a variety of circumstances.

Today we address the greatest challenge: death healing.

Gospel Healings

First reading
For God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made him.
But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world,
and they who belong to his company experience it.

In our first reading we see the writer in the book of Wisdom is reassuring us that death is not a part of the divine plan. That death is a product of the devil’s envy of the Lord.

Yes and no.

  • Man is in the image and likeness of God.
  • Yes, death, as we know it, is a product of envy of the devil.
  • But we were always destined to have a three part life:
  1. life in the womb, in formation.
  2. life in the air, in flesh.
  3. life with God in heaven, in spirit.

The devil interferes with the process at every stage. What should have been painless is not.
But, be of good hope, Jesus has overcome death by his resurrection.

Responsorial Psalm
I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.

Alleluia Verse
Our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.

Gospel Portion
The gospel story today is attested to in the three Synoptic Gospels (Mt, Mk, Lk).
The twelve year old girl, appears dead. Jesus resuscitates her.
The woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years is nearing the point of death.

Jesus heals them both.

The story of the young girl and the old woman are intercalated.
The young girl story is interrupted by the old woman story.
The narrative then returns to the young girl.
Intercalated.

Therefore, a tight bond exists between the stories.
They are more than related stories, they are inseparable stories.

But I want to speak to the women today.

Jesus is affirming your humanity and your femininity:

  • The twelve year old girl was prepubescent.
  • The woman may have been post menopausal (speculation but high probability). Additionally, she may have been unmarried, childless (or widowed).

We have already been gifted with miraculous births of Isaac and Jesus. The restoration of Sarah’s fertility and the virgin birth of Jesus. So this reading is not simply a fertility blessing.

It is a blessing of the entirety of woman!

You see the secular world and even the religious world are obsessed with fertility. Of course it is an important reality otherwise none of us would exist! But through the devil’s envy women are objectified to exclusively her gift of fertility (across the ages and all cultures). Slavery see children as potential breeding profit. Old women are dispensable.

No.
Jesus says no.
You are worthy of love and divine care and the care of the community.

  • As a little girl.
  • As a woman.
  • As a post menopausal woman.

You are WOMAN.
The title of highest honor.

Be filled with life in this life and the life to come.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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