In Life and Death We Need Jesus
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

One-Day Jesus was approached by a grieving father with a tearful account of how his little girl had just died. Jesus told him to believe in Him and not to be afraid. Then he followed the anxious father, whose name was Jairus, to his home and there Jesus raised the child from the sleep of death.

"Do not fear...only believe.!' Jairus believed and so the omnipotent power of God responded to that which is, in fact, of its own

A few days later, in the vicinity of Nazareth, Jesus now at home with his own people, gave further evidence of his extraordinary wisdom and power. Understandably, those to whom He ministered first displayed amazement at what he said. After all, He had grown up with many of them and had, apparently, not seemed to be particularly unusual as a youth. And yet, here they were, confronted with clear evidence that Jesus was, at the very least, a prophetic figure with a truly exceptional grasp of Sacred Scripture. How did they react? They were offended by Him.

"How dare YOU presume to teach US?" They turned Him off and Mark tells us that, because of their attitude, "He could do no mighty works among them". Not WOULD not but COULD not...except, continues Mark, that He laid His hands upon a few sick people and healed them.

Irritated by their lack of trust, at their rejection, He went on to other towns and villages, seeking, as always, to be be trusted.

Why did Jairus believe? What convinced him? Why did others reject Jesus?

Clearly we are speaking here of belief or trust primarily in a person and only secondarily in a doctrine. Jairus and many others before and since made an act of faith in the person of Jesus. A contract was made between the person of Christ and another person. Christ communicated Himself in some some unfathomable way. The other person, in his or her response, was open, generous and loving...and so the connection was completed.

The same is true today. Christian faith is not based primarily upon apologetics. It is based upon a personal relationship with Christ. That is why we so often find ourselves saying something like... "I believe, but don't ask me to explain it!" It is probably 80% gut and 20% intellect.

The bottom line is that we are either more or less open to Christ in generosity and humility, or we are closed to Him in pride and selfishness. Either we make it possible for Him to do "mighty works" in us or we tie His hands.

Pray for the openness, the trust and the faith to recognize God in the historical Jesus. Be open to the ministering Jesus in your own family and friends. Pray that you will never be a victim of the most debilitating blindness of all...that blindness caused by pride.

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