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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2018

Reflection by Aidan Troy [Aodhán O Troighthigh] Please note: only the view of the above.

‘Do not be afraid’ is a refrain running right through the Word of God. The prophet Isaiah, the Archangel Gabriel to Mary and Jesus encourage us not to be afraid. But when you are afraid, you are afraid, and it is difficult to escape from fear. The mind tells me not to be afraid, the emotions tell the opposite. I have a feeling that Jesus understands this.

The woman who touched the hem of his garment came forward, “frightened and trembling” when she knew that Jesus had discovered her ‘secret’. She had thought that in the push and shove of the crowd that Jesus would just feel another bump!

Terrified she falls at his feet and, ‘told him the whole truth.’ She must have hoped that Jesus would not reverse the cure of her issue of blood. She must have hoped that He would not punish her too severely. She is waiting for her ‘sentence’ to be delivered.

The Divine lips open and out comes words that sounded like music to the ears of this cured lady: “My daughter, your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free from your complaint.” It does not get much better than this! Fear is banished by love. She knows that God understands her and will live the rest of her life as a ‘new woman.’

There are so many people ‘crippled’ by fear. It is not easy to admit being afraid. I hear the message not to be afraid; in my heart there remains a fear that needs to be ‘exorcised’. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to reach the depths of the soul where such fear lingers.

I wonder if humans rather than God generate most fear? If we are to love each other as God loves us, then we do not judge others. We treat them as we would like to be treated. That is how it is supposed to be. I must stop myself slipping into judging others and making them uneasy or even fearful. God’s judgement does not worry me as much as human judgement.

There is something sad, I think, in the reaction of the people when Jesus came into the room of the Jairus’ daughter. Jesus was not impressed by all the commotion and crying that was going on. Jesus asked why? He said the child was not dead but asleep.

A line of Scripture that makes me very sad is, “But they laughed at him.” How hurtful! It’s the same if any one mocks or jeers the words of another. Jesus was right. Even when a person is wrong, laughing at them does not help. God never laughs at us but laughs with us. God expects us to have respect and understanding for each other.


Saint Joseph's Catholic Church
50 Avenue Hoche
75008 Paris, France
33(0)1 42 27 28 56

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