Daily Gospel Reflection – Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mt 9:18-26
While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples. A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” And from that hour the woman was cured. When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. And news of this spread throughout all that land.
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, the centerpiece of our Gospel today is the story of the hemorrhaging woman. To get at the power of the Gospel, we have to reacquaint ourselves with the Jewish attitudes regarding the clean and the unclean. In the book of Leviticus, we find carefully laid out prescriptions dealing with animals, plants, foods, and situations that are unclean. These prescriptions were meant to identify the Jewish people as a people. But they had a rather severe downside, since they placed certain people in extremely difficult situations.
Having a flow of blood for twelve years meant that for that entire period the woman in our Gospel was a virtual pariah. Anyone with whom she came in contact would be considered unclean. She couldn’t participate in the ordinary life of her society.
She touches Jesus and should have rendered him unclean. But so great is her faith, that her touch, instead, renders her clean. Jesus effectively restores her to full participation in her community.
The most important outcome is this: Jesus implicitly puts an end to the ritual code of Leviticus. The identity of the new Israel, the Church, would not be through ritual behaviors but through imitation of him.