“The Power of “Ouch” To The Power of Touch” by Fr. Joel

If we can only join hands and solidify our efforts, then, we can alleviate hunger, injustices, economic imbalance, and other man-made calamities that threaten human life and all other life-forms.

Can we really blame God for the sufferings and miseries of people?
This is the desperate dirge that Job asks of God. He felt that he was punished for no reason. He was helpless, totally deprived of hope and living in deep difficulty, hard-pressed and shattered. His three friends told him to ask pardon from God for his past transgressions. But Job couldn’t find any! Is God just? The conclusion however of the book of his life tells us of something – a total redemption. Yet,we were offered by Job an opportunity to examine and address the same most difficult situations and questions we too had asked of God. This is the same attitude that God wants us to adopt and fight the evil which is the root of all the sufferings and miseries we experience here on earth. How did Jesus respond to all these human tribulations in our gospel today?

We were told in the gospel that when Jesus was informed that the mother-in-law of Peter was sick, he immediately goes to her, and “takes her hand, helps her up” until she became well. Is our attitude in this case consistent with that of Jesus? Do we have this kind of patience and compassion? Said expression in New Testament’s expression is for “Resurrection”. And Jesus is giving his disciples a preview of what will transpire in the future to a believer like Peter’s mother.

Mark is teaching us a clear lesson in the gospel story. The woman who is ill is representative of a victim herself who is burdened by inhuman conditions but because of Jesus’ grace, she was healed. Notice how the mother-in-law of Peter begins to serve them
afterwards. It is an indication of total healing and liberation. And this should be the same for us. Therefore, if we have been healed by Jesus, then, we have to work for him and serve others as well. We have to give life to others and share our nicest stories of redemption to others. Who from among us has this power to go back to Jesus and say, “Thank You!”.

As we celebrate Pro-life Sunday, let us remind ourselves of the many
situations where Jesus rescued us, consistently giving us life despite our misgivings. Jesus values our life in total commitinent. Can we be life-givers as well?

The second part of the gospel (v. 32-34) tells us how Jesus cured all the inflicted people brought to him. It was not some kind of a cheap miracle that was performed. There was no sensationalism at all. He even told them not to tell anyone about all these. Let us be aware of the possible sensationalism of “healers and healing powers” happening in our times. We have to be very discerning. We have to pray and center, rather, our attention on Jesus, who alone can heal us. Even the Blessed Mother told us about this.

We know for a fact that Jesus did not solve all the problems of his time. He showed us the way on how we can heal others, and be healed ourselves. His curing the sick people is a clear sign that given this faith of ours, we can heal others too. Remember the many times he told the sick people, “Your faith has healed you”?This is the same scenario that was affirmed in Job. His faith in God helped in restoring everything he had lost, and so much more. If we can only join hands and solidify our efforts, then, we can alleviate hunger, injustices, economic imbalance, and other man-made calamities that threaten human life and all other life-forms.

The last part of the gospel tells us of Jesus who is in constant encounter with the Father through prayer. If we want everything in our life to conform to God, then we have to constantly meet God in prayer. Prayer is uttering our highest regard for God and putting into action the desire of His heart for us. It is not simply requesting Him to perform a miracle of healing for us. It is possessing our hearts with the light of his faith in order for us to withstand the demands of our relationship with Him. Prayer is God, who is moving our life to its greater glory. Job possesses his life with prayer, and he found his reward. Likewise, for St. Paul, it is not in monetary rewards but in the joy that he found helping
many to come into salvation. If we experience so many sufferings, let us always remember Jesus’ power of touch. Let us keep the faith in us.

as published on Feb. 5, 2012, Parish Bulletin