Monday, July 8, 2013

Walk On By?

The gospel reading will be the focus for this reflection.  However, let me share what crossed my mind as I typed the words "Scripture Today" just above.  How many times I have thought that I am so busy that I do not have time for any scripture reading?  How many time individuals have told me and themselves that there are days when "busy" is the description of the day?  How many days have there been when the computer served to provide information we might think very important?  When that walk into the wherever of the Internet occurs make sure that there is an icon on the desktop for an opportunity, such as this blog, to bring you immediately to the pages of the bible through the help of the  USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops).  The bible can be right at your desktop every day.  Now to the reflection.

No doubt, most of us have heard or read the story of the woman that Matthew mentioned in the words of his gospel.  A woman, seemingly advancing in years, had been tortured by an almost non-stop menstrual bleeding.  She was, as such, an outcast.  She wasn't allowed to touch other people.  But she had heard about Jesus and decided that He might be the healer of her malady.  So, bravely, she enters into the midst of the crowd following Jesus.  She dares not touch Jesus' body.  But her hope was so strong and not to be denied.  She goes down onto her knees and reaches out to touch not Jesus but only the hem of his garment.  That would be enough.  We know the rest of the story.  Her faith, her trust, her hope was not to be denied.  Jesus healed her.

How many times have I been on my way to somewhere for something when I have passed the indigent human being and ignored a call of help?  I know this:  God will one day remind me of those passings by.  Why is it we who have much are either "afraid" to speak with those in need or "resentful" that those in need are interfering with my day?  Am I so much better than those who seek a "helping hand," those who just need a word or two of encouragement, those caught in failure or loss?  

Being a human being can be challenging at different moments along the journey.  There may be a day or there may have been days in the past when anyone of us has a similar need.  I am sure I hope someone is there to listen to me, to help me.

A post-reflection note:  check out today's posting about our Pope on Whispers in the Loggia on  Pope Francis' First Visit Away from the Diocese of Rome.  It is the Holy Father's decision not to pass by those in need.  What a surprise for me:  as I started to compose this reflection, so many of the new Pope's remarks about concern for the poor and the needy came to mind.  After finishing the posting, I looked at "Whispers" and was so surprised.  Thank you Pope Francis, SJ!!!

[Photo: Whispers in the Loggia]