The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

14th Week in Ordinary Time

Mon, 07/10/2017
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Two desperate situations:  an un-curable medical condition and the death of a child.
Two people looking for help from Jesus.
When Jesus says “your faith has saved you”,
even though he only says this to the cured hemorrhaging woman,
I believe he is commending both parties for their initiative.
They are willing to seek him out, to come to him with their request.
They take advantage of an opportunity;  a passing opportunity at that.
Some people read this account and say “these people were lucky to be in the right place at the right time”.
We say “their efforts were blessed by God!”
I am sure, somewhere along the way, someone said to the woman and to the father:
“there’s nothing else to be done.”
It their time, available knowledge and understanding would have dictated that in both cases
the situation as it presented itself must be accepted.
The woman would always be seen as unclean and be kept at a distance by others.
And the child would need to be buried before sunset.  She’s dead.  Let her go.
God is not constrained by humanly determined limitations.
And the work of Jesus is not predetermined.
At the beginning of each day the Father didn’t say “my Son,
you can only heal three people today, so choose wisely.”
The Father didn’t say “before you heal anyone, do a background check, make sure they qualify.
Make sure they answer all the questions on the pre-treatment survey correctly.”
Likewise, Jesus doesn’t say “there’s someone here in today’s audience, a woman,
who is bleeding with hemorrhages….and there’s a father here whose daughter just died.
If you’ll stand and come forward I’ll show you what the power and love of God can do.
Don’t be shy.”
(As an aside, Jesus does take the initiative to call disciples to himself.
It’s never a spectacle….like Publisher’s Clearing House coming to the door.
It is most often very personal.  People didn’t line the streets and as Jesus went by say
“pick me, pick me”.  Or as the case might have it “don’t pick me”.)
For some people today, coming to Jesus in their need
would be in fact an act of total desperation.
The person who has always overcome obstacles by his/her own strength.
The person who has grown up in a scientific and technological culture
with no religious or spiritual formation,
who has trusted in and benefited from ongoing human progress.
The person who has publically and stubbornly rejected God.
It is a blessing that desperation turns the human heart to God.
In my estimation, the image of Jesus as shepherd and we as His sheep sometimes falls short
as far as representing the reality of Christian discipleship.
Jesus doesn’t passively take care of all our needs.  The Church doesn’t passively serve us.
We have to take the initiative.  We have to seek Jesus out.  To reveal to him our need.
Ask him to heal us.  Invite him into our home.  We have to let the Church know:  we need help.
Sometimes the truth will be:  we are desperate in our helplessness
and no one but Jesus can overcome the darkness that has engulfed us.
Today’s prayer: “O Lord, I feel defeated, frustrated and overwhelmed when confronted by matters that are beyond my capacity to help or to overcome.  Increase my trust in You.  Increase my willingness to seek both divine assistance and the assistance of Your Church on this earth.  Amen!”