“You cannot please both God and the world at the same time. They are utterly opposed to each other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions.” ~Saint John Vianney

 

Monday, July 6 ~ Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr

 

Holy Gospel: Matthew 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.

 

Meditation: From time to time we need to pause and reflect on how we do things in our lives.  One of them is what actions we take when we face challenges or experience troubles in our lives. Do you take your troubles to the Lord with expectant faith and confidence in his help? Or is an afternoon talk show host, or a self-help book your source of knowledge and guidance when you have a problem? People in desperate or helpless circumstances were not disappointed when they sought Jesus out. What drew them to Jesus? Was it hope for a miracle or a word of comfort in their affliction?  What did the elderly woman who had suffered greatly for twelve years expect Jesus to do for her?  And what did a grieving father expect Jesus to do about his lost beloved daughter?  Jesus gave hope where there seemed to be no human cause for it because his hope was directed to God. He spoke words of hope to the woman (Take heart, daughter!) to ignite the spark of faith in her (your faith has made you well!).  And he also gave divine hope to a father who had just lost a beloved child.

 

Prayer: O God, author if innocence and lover of chastity, who bestowed the grace of martyrdom on your handmaid, the Virgin Saint Maria Goretti, in her youth, grant, we pray, through her intercession, that, as you gave her a crown for her steadfastness, so we, too, may be firm in obeying your commandments. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: It took considerable courage and risk for the ruler of a synagogue to openly go to Jesus, for in doing so he invited the public scorn of his neighbors and kin.  Even the hired mourners laughed at him in scorn.  Their grief was devoid of any hope.  Nonetheless, Jesus took the girl by the hand and delivered her from the grasp of death.  In both instances we see Jesus’ personal concern for the needs of others and his readiness to heal and restore life. In Jesus we see the infinite love of God extending to each and every individual as he gives freely and wholly of himself to each person he meets.  Do you approach the Lord with confident expectation that he will hear your request and act?  Seek him, find him, pray to him, for he alone is available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Why would anyone seek the advice of a talk show host or a self-help book when Jesus is the only when who can help you anytime, anywhere, in your hour of need.