“If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” In our Gospel this Sunday we hear the faith of a troubled woman expressed in this desire to come close to Jesus. She is seeking healing for a long-term illness, and she believes in Jesus’ power to heal. Her faith in Him is so strong that she believes his power will extend to her even through mere contact with the hem of his garment.
I was blessed to attend the Steubenville Lone Star youth rally in Dallas, Texas last weekend. At this event, the spiritual highlight was an hour of Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. More than four thousand young people stretched out their hands toward the Monstrance as Jesus was carried past them. Those closest to the aisles knelt in humility, and those further back stood on chairs and huddled close to get nearer to Jesus. Many of them experienced extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit from their contact with Jesus, laughing or weeping with joy, some even resting in the Spirit. The overall atmosphere of the event was one of profound respect for the power of Christ in the Eucharist and the healing He brings. Drawing near to Jesus changed their lives!
Imagine my surprise, then, when the youth themselves shared that for many of them the most powerful moment of the weekend was the Sacrament of Reconciliation! They confessed their sins and experienced Christ’s mercy in a personal and vivid way in that Sacrament, which brought deep spiritual healing to their souls. They brought their spiritual illness to Christ and were cured of their afflictions.
My dear brothers and sisters, let us never take for granted the graces available to us through Christ’s Church. Draw near to Jesus in the Eucharist and receive Him who is our healing and strength. Let us humble ourselves and receive His Divine Mercy and freedom from our sins in Reconciliation. We need not travel far to encounter Him. Jesus is waiting to encounter us in every Tabernacle in every Catholic Church; come to Him and let your faith save you.