Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard the story of the Lord Jesus and how He healed the woman who had suffered from continuous bleeding for the past twelve years of her life. The Lord healed her because she believed in Him and in the power of healing which came from Him, and she went to great length in order to seek out that healing.
Then in the first reading today, God showed Himself to Jacob in a dream, showing him a vision of a great stairway to heaven, revealing His glory to him. He introduced Himself as the God of his fathers and forefathers, as the One Who had established a covenant with Abraham, Jacob’s grandfather. He reiterated the covenant which He had established with His servant Abraham, that He would bless him and his descendants forever, and would grant them the promise of the land in which he and his descendants were living in.
In this story, God showed His faithfulness and adherence to His covenant and promise which He had made with His faithful servant. In return, He wants us to also be faithful to the covenant, for all of us are the descendants of Abraham by faith. Jacob was touched by God’s love and kindness, and he promised that if God would bring him back to the land, he and his descendants will serve Him forever. Jacob was then fleeing the land because he has tricked Esau his brother, and stole his inheritance and blessing.
And if we read on the next part of the Book of Genesis, we can see how God guided Jacob through those difficult times, giving him not just many wealth and cattle, livestock and property, but also giving him a family and his many children, eventually guiding him back to the land of his forefathers and reuniting him with his father Isaac as well as his brother Esau.
Through these stories, all of us ought to realise just how much God loves each and every one of us. He is always ever faithful to us, even though we have often betrayed Him, wronged Him and left Him behind for other gods, idols and all the other distractions which kept us away from being able to be faithful to God. From time to time, He always seek to reconcile Himself with His people, calling them to repentance and to be forgiven.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us ought to realise that every one of us are afflicted with disease, the disease of our souls, and this is the disease of our sins. Even though all of us may be perfectly healthy in our physical beings, flesh and bodies, but sin has corrupted us, in our souls, hearts and minds, essentially our whole being. Sin is caused by our disobedience against God, and by our refusal to be faithful to His covenant with us.
And thus, that is why we suffer, brothers and sisters in Christ. We suffer as how the woman had suffered from her physical bleeding, filled with pain and sorrow. For us, it is a spiritual bleeding, the spiritual suffering caused by our sins, which led to a separation from God’s love and grace. But God is willing to welcome us back, and He did nothing less than giving Himself to us, making Himself available to us, through Jesus Christ, His Son.
He has touched many people, healing them from their afflictions, including that of the woman with bleeding problems. He has saved Jacob from his troubles and helped him to go through the difficult years of his life, and brought him back to his homeland with joy. In the same manner therefore, He has also endeavoured to heal us from the afflictions of our sins.
How did He do this, brothers and sisters in Christ? He has come into this world in order to save us, by nothing else than His sacrifice on the cross. He bore with Himself all of our afflictions, all of our sins and faults, and took them all up to the cross. As He hung from the cross, He showed us all the ultimate love and commitment which God had for us all, establishing a new Covenant of love with us.
Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, if our God has loved us so much, and has done so much for us mankind, then should we not indeed seek Him with all of our efforts and strength? Should we not spend our lives and effort to be reconciled with Him and to be forgiven for all of our sins which have caused us to be separated from Him? Let us be inspired by the example of the woman with the bleeding problem, whose faith in the Lord was so great that she tried her best to look for Him for healing, and indeed, she was healed because of her great faith.
Let us all go towards the Lord, our ever loving and merciful God, with a contrite heart and a sincere desire to be forgiven and to be healed from our sins and wickedness before it is too late for us. Let us not wait until the time of our death, which we will never ever know, before seeking God’s mercy, and then realising that it is already too late for us, and hellfire is our only future. May God continue to remind us of this fact, and may He forgive us our sins when we seek Him with genuine, contrite hearts. Amen.