Today Christ shows us servant leadership: He who was rich in what really counts becomes poor so that we, the poor, may become rich. The cross shows us that self-emptying love is the only true love. There, on Calvary, God has done everything He can to not only reveal his great love for us, but to give us every good gift possible, especially His Grace and the gift of everlasting life for which we are destined.
"God did not make death," Wisdom tells us. "He formed man to be imperishable." It is sin that brings death, which is why those who accompany the devil are the ones who experience it.
Not all sin is equal, but their effects are the same. Whether they are great sins or small ones, our actions bring about death into our lives and into those around us. Even little venial sins, committed regularly with little or no attempt to change, even these injure the body of Christ, they cause it to bleed in pain like the woman with the hemmhorage of 12 years.
That twelve years connects this story with the greater story it is found in, where Jairus' daughter is 12 years old. Thus the evangelist makes clear that these two stories are meant to be taken together. The truth they teach is unlocked with the help of the other.
Two women show us two ways to be healed by God: in one, the sinner goes to God who draws near and passes by; in the other, one waits as the Lord comes to her and seeks her out. In one, the prayers and faith of others bring the healing and salvation of God; in the other, it is her own faith in action that has made her well.
"Do not be afraid; only have faith." So many people trudge through life under the burdens of fear: Fear of loss. Fear of failure. Fear of changing your plans. Fear of what others may think. Only Faith in a loving, all-powerful God who has a plan for our lives will free us from this.
Do you know of someone you love who has been bleeding in pain for years? Family fight? Harsh words? Running from God or others? Have you yourself been living with great hurt either from your own sin or the sins of others? Whether it is you or another who is in need, let your faith in the power of Christ, the loving healer, bring the peace and salvation that our hearts long for. Run to Him, reach out in faith through extra prayer, through new works of charity, through random acts of kindness, through running to confession if needed. "God does not delight in the destruction of the living." Jesus tells us that He came that you may have life, and have it to the full. What are you waiting for?
Today, on this altar, Our Lord passes by, and we have the opportunity to reach out to Him. Today he comes to us to make us well. May our Eucharistic Lord bring His power and save us from the death of sin and evil, and fill us with His love.