June 28, 2009


13th Sunday - B
Mark 5: 21-43

Life-giving Life

“There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.”
“The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.”

It is not by coincidence that the number twelve appears twice, in reference to two difference people in this Gospel passage.

For the woman afflicted with hemorrhages, 12 years of illness is a long time. But that is surface reading. We know from Jewish religious traditions that she has been considered impure. As a result, she has not been a part of any religious or social functions for all these 12 years. She is alive, but her life is not unlike death.

Moreover, her illness would have made her childless.

Now, the healing power of Jesus enables her to both reenter the community of God’s family and bring forth life.

The girl dies just as she reaches the customary age of marriage. [1] As Jesus restores her to life, “she rises to womanhood.”[2] Not only is she now alive, she can bring forth life as a mother.

That is how rich and how life-giving God’s life is. And that gift of God’s life is in us by the healing touch of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

[1] Moloney, Francis J., The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002; p. 110.
[2] Ibid., p. 111.

June 20, 2009


12th Sunday - B
Mk 4:35-41

Let us cross to the other side.

The disciples are terrified as the storm tosses their boat about. The incredible calmness of Jesus, who is sound asleep in the stern, does nothing to calm their fears and inner turmoil.

Through this detail of Jesus sleeping, St. Mark already shows that Jesus is the lord of nature. He is truly the Son of God, as the author has introduced him from the beginning of this Gospel (1:1 – the introduction states, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”; and 1:11 – the voice from heaven at the Jordan, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.").

And yet, to the disciples, Jesus is only “teacher” as they wake him. They even doubt his concern for them, “Do you not care that we are perishing?”

They quickly forget, in times of struggles and dangers, that Jesus himself had set out on the journey with them. It was never their initiative. It was Jesus who ordered, “Let us cross to the other side.” It is the same Jesus who is still with them. It is the same Jesus who will calm the sea with the power of his words.

[1] Moloney, Francis J., The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002; p. 99.
[2] Ibid.

12th Sunday - B (June 21, 2009)


June 5, 2009


Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Matthew 28:16-20

We are One with the Trinity and One Another

In this Gospel passage, before ascending to heaven, Jesus affirms the disciples, "behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age" (v. 20). Jesus came into the world to reveal to us the unity and love of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. By becoming one with us, Jesus draws us into that divine relationship.

Now he physically leaves us, but he is with us. And with Jesus, we are one with the Trinity until the end of the age.

However, this relationship that the Trinity shares with us is not to be preserved to a chosen few. Jesus commands us, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" (v. 19). Unlike with the first Chosen People, relationship with God is now open to all. In Judaism, "only males could be properly introduced into the fullness of life in the People of God through circumcision, now the universal possibility of baptism is offered to all nations and to all people, women and men." (1)

(1) Moloney, Francis J. This is the Gospel of the Lord, Year B. Homebush, NSW, Australia: St. Paul, 1993; p. 135.

Most Holy Trinity (June 7, 2009)