DAILY MASS READINGS (July 1, 2018)

13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (CYCLE B, Green)

 

Reading 1 (WISDOM 1:13-15; 2:23-24)

God did not make death,
nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.
For he fashioned all things that they might have being;
and the creatures of the world are wholesome,
and there is not a destructive drug among them
nor any domain of the netherworld on earth,
for justice is undying.
For God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made him.
But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world,
and they who belong to his company experience it.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13)

R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Reading 2 (2 CORINTHIANS 8:7, 9, 13-15)

Brothers and sisters:
As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse,
knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you,
may you excel in this gracious act also.For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
Not that others should have relief while you are burdened,
but that as a matter of equality
your abundance at the present time should supply their needs,
so that their abundance may also supply your needs,
that there may be equality.
As it is written:
Whoever had much did not have more,
and whoever had little did not have less
.

Alleluia (CF. 2 TIMOTHY 1:10)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Gospel (MARK 5:21-43 OR 5:21-24, 35B-43)

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat
to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
“My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him,
and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to Jesus,
“You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?'”
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

While he was still speaking,
people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said,
“Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
“Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child’s father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,”
which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.

or

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat
to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
“My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him,
and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.

While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said,
“Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
“Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child’s father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,”
which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.

Reflection: The First Reading teaches us on the Mystery of Christian Death. This passage coming from a Deuterocanonical affirms the last article in the Creed, which is the belief in the resurrection of the dead and everlasting life. God did not make death because he made everything good. Even man and woman he made to be stewards over all creation. But because of the envy of the Evil One, the consequence of sin is death. This is the reality that death has come as a punishment for one’s sins, so people fear that they may not experience it. However Death is defined to be the separation of the soul from the body, wherein the body remains in the tomb, while the soul goes to the afterlife. And in our Creed, we believe that death is not the final ending to our life, but what follows is the resurrection. We are sure of this because our Lord Jesus Christ died and rose again in order that our salvation might be fulfilled when we shall inherit eternal life in Paradise and behold the beatific vision of the Father. That is why St. Paul in the Second Reading exhorts us that our lives should be spiritually rich and poor in the eyes of God: rich that we share and manifest the gracious gifts given to us and poor that we learn to humble ourselves and be in solidarity with other people, just as how Christ though divine became human in order that we may be rich in our faith. This entails us to share our possessions and our gifts with those who are in need physically and spiritually. Faith is our belief in God and in all the good things he has done and will always do, and that virtue enables to manifest it in concrete thoughts, words, and actions.
The Gospel presents to us two accounts of healing, but they are connected to one major theme, and that is faith. We see how Jairus believed that Jesus could heal her twelve-year-old daughter, even though it was announced that she was dead. And we see how a woman bleeding for twelve years pushed through the crowds, just in order to touch the cloak of our Lord, and get healed. Truly we see faith in these two healing miracles, but there is one thing that was emphasized with this virtue, and that is the sense of touch. Saint Mark emphasizes on the healing touch of Jesus as an expression of love and mercy, leading to greater faith. This is how a leper was cleansed, Bartimaeus could see, a deaf and mute man was opened, and many more accounts. No wonder Saint Thomas, after seeing the Risen Lord, touched the wounds, renounced his doubt, and professed his faith: “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28)! What we see in these Gospel accounts is the physical touch of the Lord. But there is also the spiritual touch. Before he ascended into heaven, Jesus promised that he is with us, even until the world’s end. Everytime we go to church, attend the Holy Mass, and pray, we would feel that there is someone who is with us, being close to our side. Everytime we have joys, sorrows, strengths, weaknesses, acknowledgements, and limitations, we feel that there is someone clinging to us, telling us to believe in him, and live this faith. So we can say that there is a God who is watching us from above. He knows all our needs, wants, and personalities. His wisdom is far beyond than our knowledge, which is why we cannot hide from him. In times of trials and sufferings, all we can do is to have faith in him, and experience his merciful touch. He does this when we pray to him, and when we live our faith not only by words, but also by actions. This is how Jesus wants us to be as Christians. If we believe in him, then we must reach out to him, especially to our brothers and sisters. So may we feel the merciful touch of the Lord by putting our faith in him, and proclaiming his goodness to others.

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