Thoughts on the Readings for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) 2015

For this Sunday’s readings, click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. 
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062815.cfm 

In today’s Gospel we have a story within a story.   The main story is about a synagogue official named Jairus who sought out Jesus’ help because his daughter was “at the point of death.”   Jesus set off with him, but while they were on the way to Jairus’ house a woman with a hemorrhage touched the hem of Jesus’ cloak, hoping to be healed.   She was healed and when it was discovered that she was the one who had touched his cloak, Jesus said to her.  “Daughter, your faith has saved you.”   While this was taking place “people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said: ‘Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?’”   Jesus, though, disregarded the message and told Jairus:  “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”   When they arrived at the house, Jesus asked those who were mourning the child’s death:  “Why this commotion and weeping?  The child is not dead, but asleep.”  Jesus then put them all out and “he took the child by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum.’ which means ‘Little girl I say to you arise!’”  The child arose immediately, the people were astounded, but Jesus “gave them strict orders that no one should know about this.”     

There are three important things to note about this story.  1. The synagogue official was willing to take a big risk for the sake of his daughter.  Other synagogue officials would not take kindly to one of their own approaching Jesus with a request.   They regarded Jesus as problematic trouble maker.   2.  Notice that Jesus restored the little girl to this life.  This is a story of resuscitation, not a resurrection.   3.  Often in Mark’s Gospel, after Jesus has performed a miraculous deed, he told his disciples not to tell anyone about it.  The reason is that the people of Jesus’ time were looking for a messiah who would restore Israel to a place of prominence.   Jesus was not that kind of messiah.    

Our first reading this weekend, from the book of Wisdom, shares the theme of the Gospel.  It reminds us that "God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.  For he fashioned all things that they might have being.” 
 
In our second reading this weekend, Paul is writing to the community at Corinth.  He has asked them to take up a collection for the Christian community at Jerusalem.  He said:  “Not that others should have relief while you are burdened, but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their needs.”   

Questions for reflection/discussion:    

  1. Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said that many times he had been driven to his knees by the conviction that he had no where else to go.   I think this was the position that Jairus was in.   Have you ever found yourself in this position? 
  2. How would you explain the difference between being resuscitated and being resurrected?  
  3. From our second reading this weekend, it seems that sharing our abundance with others was part of the Christian life from the very beginning.   I suspect, though, that how much we share from our abundance would depend on how you define abundance.   How would you define abundance?  
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Comments

I was in the Air Force in the early 70s. I was stationed on the island of Crete and got into an agonizing situation which I could not escape either socially geographically. I felt desperate for many, many months. Then, one day, walking on the beach to escape the situation, I said out loud, "God, I give up, I can't fix this situation on my own, please help me".... Maybe that's called "offering it up". Whatever it was, in an instant, my anxiety was gone. The burden was lifted. I am normally a great skeptic about the power of this kind of prayer but in that instance I felt and recognized "the peace that passes all understanding". I was at peace and it came as a direct, immediate answer to prayer. I could not and cannot explain it but the relief was instant and life-changing. Somehow the situation was no longer on my shoulders. And the rest of my tour of duty in Greece included some of the best times I have had in my life. Thanks be to God.

I understand the suffering you are going through.

Here in Central Minnesota, the exact same thing has been going on for years, as the incorrigible monks of St. John's Abbey have numerous monks who have accumulated over 200 victims of sexual abuse, many at St. John's Abbey.

Over a year ago, it was discovered there was credible evidence of Fr. Timothy Backous sexually assaulting St. John's Boys Choir kids in the 1990's. Abbot John, as usual, denied, deflected, and distorted, but he promised an investigation.

Tim Backous said many Masses at your Cathedral. Where is your plea for information on that investigation, as Abbot John has been silent for 13 months on this issue, and no investigation results have been revealed?

Joe:

Thanks for your concern - Fr. Bauer does not regularly monitor the website so I forwarded your request on to him. He is happy to talk with you directly. He can be reached at pastor@mary.org or you may call him through the Basilica's switchboard at 612.333.1381.

Peace!

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