Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
July 4th, 2011
Janine ter Kuile

Financial Aid Office
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Monday in the 14th Week of Ordinary Time
[383] Genesis 28:10-22a
Psalm 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15ab
Matthew 9:18-26

In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus shows affection and compassion for two ‘daughters’, as he calls them.  Both are at the end of their ropes.  While he is on his way to bring the young girl back to life, he is stopped in his tracks by the touch of a woman. Not only has she lost everything life has to offer, enduring physical and financial suffering, but she is shunned by society.  Jesus restores life to both, partly because faith had saved them, and partly because he has a special compassion for women.

How easily we forget that our faith is tested every day!  Two things that require great faith from me are my mother’s slow death by dementia and my upcoming trip to Congo where I will see women face-to face, who have been marginalized by rape and torture.  The first is very close to me personally and the other is taking place far away.  Both require trust that God’s will comes to and from suffering. My belief is also a fear that I will not escape it before I am raised to life after death.

The objects of this suffering give me great faith at the same time, when I see the grace of my mother’s spirit triumph despite the loss of speech, memory and quality of life.  She will enter into death just the way she lived her life, with faith that all will be well.

The other object of suffering, the injustices toward women all over the world, from slavery to sex trafficking, to intimidation through rape (with the intention to destabilize society for war’s benefit), remains a mystery to me, and that will require a much stronger leap of faith.  Until I have lived it, I will never be able to empathize, but I can pray that through time and education, these things will change and women will be stronger, not weaker, because of it.  When I look into the eyes of these women, will I see faith?  Perhaps I will see faith created out of fear, transformed by experience.

I too, can physically reach out and touch Jesus, if when I pray, I put myself in the mind of the woman who bled, or the father or mother who waited impatiently for Jesus to hurry to save his daughter.  Did they have fear?  Or did they believe beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Today, look for wonders on the way, in other people’s lives, to strengthen your faith for things greater than you expected.  Sit with Jesus and imagine him touching you as he says, “do not be afraid, your faith has made you well”.

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