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Homily by Fr. Paul Plante

13th Sunday in Ordinary TIme

Year B

June 28, 2015

Scriptural Reference: Mark 5:21-43

     Have there been a number of twists and turns in your life? What have these meant in the story of your life? What changes did they bring about? How well were you able to adapt your life to a perhaps totally new and different direction?

     I cannot imagine too many of us could say that our lives always proceeded as we had planned and that everything was always as smooth as we ever dreamt.

     In the context of faith, any of these events that forced us to change something in our lives were most likely meant to be reminders that God is in charge; that if we are to fulfill God’s will in our lives, it will not always be according to our next little plan.

     We actually have an example of a person having to adapt to Jesus’ way of functioning in today’s Gospel story.

     An important citizen - a synagogue official we are told by the name Jairus approaches Jesus in a very humble way for a man of his social status, falling at the feet of Jesus and pleading with him for the life of his daughter who is at the point of death. Jesus is certainly a last resort. If this does not work, nothing will.

     As Jesus is on his way to his home, he tends to the needs of somebody else, which of course most likely delays the arrival at the home of the official where his daughter is dying. We are not told, but I can imagine Jairus [is aware of] the delay – we might compare it to an ambulance rushing to the hospital with a dying relative and stopping to see if somebody else needs help on the way. We all know that at a time of crisis we have a hard time to accept that others have needs.

     But it is the next message that forces Jairus to put it all in the hands of Jesus – he is told that his daughter has died, so why inconvenience Jesus – it is too late.

     Jesus must have felt Jairus’ disappointment and simply tells him: “do not be afraid; just have faith.

     When something causes our life to be totally messed up we have to let God tell us: “do not be afraid, just have faith.” Jairus could have turned against Jesus in anger – “I trusted you and you let me down; if you had not delayed you would have gotten there on time.” But instead he adjusts to another unexpected twist and continues to follow Jesus.

     As we know the miracle takes place and it is even a greater one because the people who realized that Jairus’ daughter had died are now dealing not only with a healer but one who has the power to raise someone from the dead.

     When we accept the crosses of our lives – when we still follow Jesus through the most difficult trials – when we adjust to what God is asking of us – whatever happens is always even greater than the position we were in. It might be true peace; it might be unconditional acceptance; it might be a new and different life of faith; it might be a difficult lesson we had to learn.

     May we believe that Jesus has the power not only to heal us but to bring us back to life!

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