Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Christians must recall death frequently.  They must recall the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, they must recall those who have passed before us, prayerfully interceding for them, and they must recall their own mortality.  This is not because they are morbid, but because death is at the heart of all drama: human and Christological.  Christians, however, do not have the same perspective on death – faith is the power to see death as God sees it. It is a challenge to remain in that perspective, however, because we are constantly tempted to consider our current lot in life permanent.  The truth about our lives, that our life in this world is temporary, can be liberating and healing.  As we attach ourselves to Jesus in faith – especially when it is challenging or involves suffering – it is actually a way for us to begin our healing from death.  When we no longer have any reason to hope as human beings because all possible solutions have been exhausted, as in the case of the woman in today’s Gospel, we must still hope in God.  With that act of hope, as through the crucible, our hearts experience divine healing from this present world that is passing away.  That’s a very different perspective.

We should try to make this world better for others, but we need even more desperately to be healed from this world.  The way we heal from this world is death – but not just any death.  The medicine that heals us is the death of Christ – by his wounds we are healed.  We continue to die because we are ultimately meant for a different kind of life, the resurrection.  We can experience different kinds of death – and that was what the devil wanted.  The death of sin, the death of loss, the death of failure, physical death, emotional death.  Jesus does not cause those things to stop happening altogether, He instead turns them into a cure when we endure them with faith.  He has made a remedy out of mortality itself.  The woman realized that was what happened in today’s Gospel.  She then relates to Jesus only in terms of the truth, because Truth himself healed her – the truth she grasped onto in faith.


Even then she did not yet dare to look up into his face. As long as she had been cured, it was enough for her to cling to his feet. She “told him all the truth.” Christ himself is the truth. She was giving praise to the truth. She had been healed by the truth.1


  1. HOMILY 77. Oden, T. C., & Hall, C. A. (Eds.). (1998). Mark (Revised) (p. 70). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
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