Ordinary Time, 13th Sunday. Today I look back on 5 years of service as a priest. When I answered God’s call to the priesthood five years ago, I didn’t realize how chaotic priesthood would be. Today’s Gospel reading is a perfect example of how all kinds of things happen on top of each other in priesthood: Jesus is preaching when Jairus asks Him to heal his daughter. On the way, an older woman grasps Jesus’ cloak and is healed. Meanwhile, the little girl dies. But Jesus comes anyway and raises her from the dead. Why did he wait until the little girl was dead? To stretch the faith of her parents. Why did he God wait 12 years to heal the afflicted woman? To stretch her faith.
My priesthood has been filled with stretching. Every time I get comfortable, I get moved. Why does God keep moving me? To stretch me to have greater faith. I’m sure that God has found ways to stretch you too — sickness, family troubles, unexpected pregnancy, infertility, job loss, death of a loved one or natural disasters. All these things disrupt us. We get painfully stretched and we wonder, why is God doing this? The answer is clear: because He loves us. The stretching makes us desperate, leads us to rely on God, and ultimately allows us to feel the healing touch of Jesus Christ.
(1 Jul 2012)