Pondering for Friday July 26, 2019

Daily Office Readings for Friday Proper 11 of Year 1

AM Psalm 40, 54; PM Psalm 51  1 Samuel 31:1-13; Acts 15:12-21; Mark 5:21-43

“But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth.  He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’ (Mark 5:33 – 34)

A question often asked at our weekly Cursillo group is “With what unexpected opportunities has The Lord accomplished something through you.”  My group members smirk when we raise this question because they know I don’t like it.  My argument has been that if it is “unexpected,” it can’t be good can it? And how can something you didn’t see coming be an opportunity?   It wasn’t anticipated or planned for. I’m a strong “J” on the Myers Briggs Personality evaluation.

Jesus models a loving way to respond to such occasions.  Jesus is on his way to the home of Jairus to attend to Jairus’ daughter who is thought to be dying.  While on his way he is touched by a woman who has been sick for twelve years, bleeding as it were, and has tried everything she could with the doctors of her day.  She has exhausted all her money and is no better off.

But she says to herself, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.”  So she does just that.  Jesus, while on his way to a crisis, stops, turns, inquires, and assures.  He tells her that her faith has made her well.  She, like we, have the solution to all our problems already inside us.  But we are not able to make use of the fix for ourselves.  Jesus takes what God has put in us and fixes us. After this, Jesus continues on his way to the home of Jairus where he indeed brings the little girl back to life and full health.

The lesson here is simple. Never think you are too busy to care for someone God has put in your path. This harkens back to the story of the Good Samaritan where the Samaritan was already in route to somewhere when he happened upon the man left for dead, (Luke 10:30 – 37) This is a retold story where the names and places have changed but the lesson is the same.  This is the way I learn God’s Way, repeated lessons. I’m slow, but God’s patience is eternal. Thank you Jesus.

Often, as I make hospital visits or am traveling while wearing a clerical collar a stranger will approach me and ask if I might pray with, or for them.  Of course, I do.  Jesus has taught me in this Gospel lesson that unexpected opportunities are the ways in which good comes into being.  So, I no longer think of unexpected opportunities as something that good cannot come from.  How about you?  That person that gets in your way, may be the way, that person gets in the Way.

Ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John+

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