While he was saying these things to them, suddenly a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples.
Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.
When Jesus came to the leader’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, “Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. And the report of this spread throughout that district.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Desperation. When fear or loss invade our lives, space, time, and propriety loosen their hold. These moments alter our life trajectory, confuse rationality, and thin the veil between ordinary and extraordinary.
Death of a child. The official who approaches Jesus. Chronic or terminal disease. The woman suffering hemorrhages. Chaos.
“If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” The impossible seems palpable. “… lay your hand on [my daughter], and she will live.”
Jesus does not shirk from meeting us in this liminal space. The thought of turning to him in times of darkness might only occur to us by happenstance, but our motives will not be questioned. The intensity and recklessness of our pleading is met with equal portions of miraculous surprise.
—Sean Agniel is ending a term as the provincial’s assistant for secondary and pre-secondary education for the U.S. Central and Southern Province. This summer he will begin working at St. Louis University High School as the advancement chief of staff.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from thee.
From the wicked foe, defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to thee
That with your saints I may praise thee
For ever and ever.