READINGS: Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24/ 2 Cor. 8:7, 9, 13-15/ Mk. 5:21-43
Theme: That we might have the Fullness of Life
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
According to the book of Wisdom, ‘God made man imperishable . . . ; it was the devil’s envy that brought death into the world’ (Wisdom 2:23-24).
Thus, God, who is LIFE, is the giver of Life.
1. GOD CREATED US TO LIVE FOREVER:
Why do we say that God created us to live forever? It is because:
i. Death, which is a destruction, cannot be said to part of God’s creation which was said to be ‘very good’ [perfect] at the end of the ‘six days’ of creation (Gen. 1:31).
ii. [Secondly], if God created death, it does not make sense that he has sent his Son to ‘fix’ or ‘repair’ the damage caused by sin and death.
iii. [Thirdly], since God is immortal, any part of him cannot die; therefore the spirit he breathed into Adam can’t die (Wisdom 2: 23).
2. IN JESUS, GOD FIXES THE PROBLEM OF DEATH:
The problem of death, which entered the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, is fixed through the obedience of Jesus, the Son of God (Romans 5). Through him, death is no longer the end of humans but a mere long sleep as he told those wailing at the death of the little girl that she was not dead, but asleep (gospel reading). In fact, through Jesus we have more than the restoration of immortality – we have eternal life with God: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave us his only Son that whosoever believes in him may not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16).
Thus, Jesus would say: ‘I have come that you might have life and have it to the full’ (John 10:10).
3. JESUS DEMONSTRATED THAT HE HAS COME TO GIVE US FULL LIFE:
Jesus demonstrated that he has come that we might have full life in many ways:
i. Food sustains life, and Jesus multiplied loaves to feed the hungry crowd to demonstrate that he is the Bread of Life that gives eternal life (John 6:51).
ii. Sickness takes life away, and Jesus healed the sick. In today’s reading, Jesus healed the woman with blood flow. Blood stands for life and the total lack of it means death; so Jesus in stopping the flow of blood, showed that he gives life.
iii. Jesus demonstrated that he gives life by raising the dead to life. For instance, before raising Lazarus back to life, Jesus proclaimed: ‘I am the resurrection and the life’. And in today’s gospel reading he demonstrated this by raising the 12 year old girl back to life.
iv. Above all, Jesus himself died so as to fix the problem of death at its root, and he resurrected to prove that in him our lives prolong eternally beyond the grave.
Hence, as the Father breathed his spirit into the clay/dust that became Adam, so the Risen Lord Jesus breathed on the Apostles after his resurrection, saying, ‘RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT’ (John 20:22)
Our body is like a cable wire, which is lifeless without an electric power passing through it. The spirit which God breathed into us is like the electric power, which gives life to our body. [No one dares to hold a LIVE electric wire!]
We lost this electric power (spirit of God) through the sin of Adam and Eve, but in Jesus Christ, we receive the abundance of spiritual electricity through the Holy Spirit, ‘the giver of life’ (as we profess in our creed).
5. FULL LIFE (FULLNESS OF LIFE)
The fullness of life, which we receive through Jesus Christ, far surpasses what we consider as good life or quality life or high standard of living.
GOOD LIFE: some people consider eating, drinking, ‘chilling’, plenty money to spend . . . as good living, but Jesus is offering something far far better; for what is this earthly good life for 10, 20, 50 or 100 years compared to everlasting happiness in heaven?
QUALITY LIFE: some people consider high standard of living, good health-care, holiday abroad, etc. as a high quality of life; but this is nothing compared to the full life Jesus is offering. The best health-insurance or health-care system, for instance, is nothing in the face of an incurable disease like cancer, etc.
The FULL LIFE, Jesus is offering us has both ‘QUANTITY’ and QUALITY;
QUANTITY = eternal/ everlasting (in fact, we can’t quantify eternity);
QUALITY = in heaven, there is no sickness, no death, no misery, no other calamities; rather there is eternal health, life without end, eternal happiness, eternal peace and joy, eternal security, all these and more in the bliss of the eternal presence of God!!!
6. HOW DO WE ‘OBTAIN’ THE FULL LIFE?
By getting connected with the Holy Spirit, the source of the spiritual electric power.
As the cable wire is connected to the electricity by a plug, so FAITH is the spiritual plug by which Jesus connects us to the Holy Spirit – remember how the faith of the woman sick of haemorrhage connected her to the healing power in Jesus.
As the plugged cable wire has to be switched on, so our GOOD WORKS switch on our FAITH plugged to the spiritual power of ETERNAL LIFE.
I pray that:
If our spiritual plug of FAITH is damaged, God will repair it, Amen!
If it is weak, God will tighten its screws to strengthen it, Amen!
If our spiritual ‘on-switch’ of good works is damaged, God will repair it, Amen!
If it is in good order, but not switched on, God will press it on for us, Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis