Jesus Christ M.D.
Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)
My dear encountered couples:
For twelve years that woman who touched Jesus was afflicted with a hemorrhage. She was bleeding abnormally from one or more of her blood vessels. After receiving treatment from doctors of every sort, her money supply was gone. She didn’t have any medical insurance. Not only that but she was still sick, even worse than before.
How often have you heard that story? Maybe it is your story. Some sickness that neither your doctor in general practice nor the specialists he sends you to seem to be able to cure. And if you don’t have medical insurance, you now owe more than you can earn anytime in the foreseeable future.
You might wonder which is worse — the sickness or the doctor bill? The woman with the hemorrhage is probably one of the most up—to—date stories in the gospels. It is one that many people today can relate to. It is being lived over and over by many people in the twentieth century, right here and now in 1988. What can we do about it?
What did the woman do? She went to Jesus. She went to the one who is always looking for miseries to cure, for people who will reach out to take his hand. If she had never had that hemorrhage problem, I wonder if she would ever have found Jesus. The sickness and the bankruptcy were without doubt for her blessings in disguise. They were probably her eternal salvation. What do you think?
When we look back and see what has happened in the lives of others, like to this woman, we can easily see how unfortunate circumstances can turn into the most fortunate of situations. That which seems unfair and unjust, “Why me, Lord?” type of things, often bring about an abundance of goodness into life — so much goodness that a person might then ask, “What did I ever do to deserve so much happiness.” Evil is used to bring about Good.
When we can look at the many things that happen to us in life from that viewpoint, then we are more apt to be able not only to put up with unpleasantries, but to experience joy in the midst of them. “God, I really am not enjoying this, I am in great pain and full of worry, but I know this misery is a step for me towards a life full of beauty and happiness. It is for my good. It makes me reach out for you, helps me to put the right value on things of this world, and forms me into a better person. Thank you.”
Jesus was filled with pain throughout his body when he hung upon the cross. If he thought only of people who would never accept him, his spirit would have been desolated. But knowing that what he endured was for the good of many, the salvation of billions of people, joy gave him the strength he needed. And just as with everything else he did during his life, he did it well. Though the appearance didn’t show it, his internal attitude gave his death dignity and royalty. He died as a King who loved his people.
What did he get out of it? Hopefully - you! For you are why he did it. Even if all the rest of humanity would reject him forever, Jesus would have done it all as often as necessary — for you.
He loves you beyond your belief. All your sicknesses and miseries are to bring you to him. As twelve years of incurable hemorrhaging led that woman to Jesus, everything in your life is meant to steer you to him. They are gifts you would never choose, they are gifts not wrapped attractively and not sought after by anyone, but they are gifts intended to result in more happiness than you could ever possibly attain for yourself. If you can really believe that, then your hemorrhages or whatever it is that bothers you will bring you many experiences of that joy Jesus felt while he was on the cross — while suffering and dying — for you.
Like I said: What Jesus did was for you, not for himself. All that you endure is primarily for yourself, for your own good. All that comes into your life is to eventually bring about the best of everything for you. And as it does that, you can become a person so filled with goodness that sometimes through you will also come much good for many others. Think of it! First comes your betterment, then because of you comes the enhancement of the quality of life for others. That woman touched Jesus and received the answer to her dreams. I wonder how many dreams she then helped to fulfill in the lives of others.
We not only have day to day problems that need God’s help, we not only have long—term physical sicknesses that need bearing and curing, we also have sins that need forgiving, bad habits that need getting rid of, attitudes that need changing. The woman said, “If I just touch his clothing, I shall get well.” So, can you. It may not happen all at once, in an instant, as it did with her. But believe! Anyone who reaches out for Jesus Christ is already being cured of whatever it is that afflicts them. Someday when your story is made known, everyone — especially you — will see the reason and the purpose for all the things in your life.
“Daughter,” Jesus said. “It is your faith that has cured you. Go in peace and be free of this illness.” Jesus says the same to you. Live in his peace and keep looking forward to the best of everything. It is already, even at this very moment, being given to you.