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Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

“…Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, ‘Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.’ And from that hour the woman was cured.…” (From Matthew 9:18-26)

Today’s Gospel scene presents us with 2 miracles. An official’s daughter is healed, as is a woman who had been “suffering hemorrhages for twelve years.” In all, this is a relatively short passage. This should not, however, cause us to miss the significance of what happens. The miracle beneath the miracle, as some call it, is the faith of the 2 main characters. They knew that it was Jesus to whom they needed to go for healing. Beneath their pain there was the gift of desire. Along with trust, this led them to a new place, a better place.

One of the life lessons that I recall being imparted to me during high school was the simple, “no one can make you want anything” reality. Coaches, teachers, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart all said this to us many times. I even recall my father saying to me, “son, you’ve got to want it.” A beautiful reminder of this is contained in Preface IV for Weekday Mass, which reads, “You have no need of our praise, yet our desire to thank You is itself Your gift. Our prayer of thanksgiving adds nothing to Your greatness, but makes us grow in Your grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”Thomas Merton also writes, in Thoughts in Solitude, “…I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you…” He then concludes with, “and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing…” Perhaps we can make this our prayer today, that our desire to be bound more closely with Christ grow stronger each day.

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