Posted by: cris | July 9, 2009

My Favorite Recipe – Sunday Gospel Reflections 28 June 2009

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe
Week XIII, Year B
28 June 2009

Wisdom 1:13-15;2:23- 24 ><{{{*> 2Corinthians 8:7.9.13-15 ><{{{*> Mark 5:21-43

Last summer I attended “Theology Week” at the UST Ecclesiastical Faculties wherein one of the sharers on the first day was the very popular radio personality Bro. Jun Banaag known as “Dr. Love.”  According to him, main problem of most people these days is not really about money but the feeling of being unloved.  Bro. Jun claimed that most people could not believe in a loving and merciful God simply because we have stopped reaching out to others, ceasing to become true images and likeness of God who loves so much.

Today’s Good News tells us a lot about this reality: aside from becoming a man like us in all aspects except sin, Jesus Christ made us all a family in God as our Father in words and in deeds as seen in healing of a hemorrhaging woman and a 12-year old girl.

First is notice the actions of Jesus Christ.  He had crossed anew the lake with His apostles and people were waiting for Him on the shore.  A synagogue official named Jairus was among those waiting for Him because his daughter was dying; Jesus agreed to go with him to heal his daughter and a large crowd followed them.

Among the crowd was “a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for 12 years.”  She had spent all her money to various doctors but her condition only worsened.  She had heard a lot about Jesus that she thought if she could touch His clothes, she could get healed.  Indeed, she was cured immediately upon touching the clothes of Jesus Christ!

Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from Him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” …The woman realizing what had happened to her, approached and in fear and trembling.  She fell down before Jesus and told Him the whole truth.  He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.  Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” (Mk.5:30,32- 34)

Here we can find that with Jesus Christ, nobody is an anonymous; everyone is a “somebody” for Him and He wants each one of us to enter into this “person-to-person” relationship with Him.  Try dwelling into that particular moment when suddenly, Jesus turned around, looking for that particular person, could be you or me, so eager to befriend just like when you search for your long lost classmates in Facebook and invite them to be your friends.  Ever felt like thinking more than three times if you should “ignore” a “friend request” in Facebook?  Jesus Christ must have felt more than that because we are all His friends as He declared in His last supper (Jn.15:15).

Such was the love of Jesus for us that even when it seems hopeless to everyone, He would continue to reach out and meet us like what He did upon reaching the home of Jairus:  after  driving out all the other people there except Jairus and his wife along Peter, James, and John, “(Jesus)He took the child by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise!’  The girl, a child of 12, arose immediately and walked around.”(Mk.5:41-42)

Again, imagine the action of Jesus Christ with Jairus’ daughter:  He took her hand to raise her up.  Jesus Christ is always coming to us, touching us, lifting us up to rise and try again especially in moments we feel so lost and almost dead with so many grief and sufferings.

Most of all, what I like most with our Gospel today are the words spoken by Jesus:  He called the hemorrhaging woman a “daughter” while the child “little girl” that are both terms of endearment.  In our Filipino culture, one of the loveliest things I like most is when elders aside from our parents like relatives or teachers used to call children as “anak” or “hijo” which both mean  “son.”  Despite the distance or even lack of any blood affinity at all, being called as “anak” or “hijo/hija” always evoke love, care, and concern.

That is what Jesus Christ was showing in both instances:  He loved the elder hemorrhaging woman as well as the very young little girl because they are actually His.  Remember the imagery of Jesus Christ being the Good Shepherd who would give His life for His sheep?

Last Sunday, Jesus Christ showed us that the world is His that He could command the sea and the winds to be calm and quiet that we need not worry anything at all; now, He is showing us how much He eagerly reaches out to us and be with Him as His beloved.  Moreover, such is also the challenge for us: make Jesus Christ real to others especially the children and the young.

It is said that one really gets old when he/she starts to say that young people today are not as good as the people before; his/her generation is always better with the usual litany that begins with “when we were growing up, we never had so and so but you, blah-blah-blah. ”  I think that indeed that is a sign of getting old but not necessarily being matured because young people of today are as good as the people before.

It is not only money which we must give or share with others especially the young:  we must also make them feel that they are persons to be loved, who need support and trust, acceptance and understanding.  They are persons to be loved not pets to be possessed and cuddled.  The have lives that must be handled with tender loving care like what Jesus did.

Too bad that as we advance in science and technology, we lag behind in our person-to-person relationships; we not only fail in touching others but are also cold or cryptic in our talking with them.  No wonder, others find it so difficult to believe in a loving, personal God like ours these days because we have made Him a commodity that we hoard in our closets and pantry without bringing Him out in the open in our very lives of witnessing.  The Book of Wisdom said it so well that “death did not come from God but from the devil; God formed man in His own image.”

But, are we able to show God and Jesus in our very lives day in and day out?

Let us be reminded of what St. Paul said in his second letter to the Corinthians:  we have to excel in “gracious acts” with others like Jesus Christ.  We cannot simply know Jesus Christ or any body with our intellect; we need to use our hearts and feelings likie every human person does.

The sad thing with the sudden death of Michael Jackson is not really his dying at a young age of 50 but, as seen in his life, his being “a very lonely man.”  Some accounts blame this on MJ’s unhappy childhood, which is, a failure to experience love and concern from his father.

On the office table of my friend Cecile Magkasi-Cruz I found this saying a long time ago which has become one of my most quoted sayings:  “If you have love in your heart, you have been blessed by God; if you have been loved, you have been touched by God.”

Let’s make Jesus Christ real everyday!

fr. nicanor f. lalog II
santissima trinidad parish
malolos city 3000


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