Jesus says to the sick girl in today’s Gospel: “Talitha koum!” This means: “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” We have the faith to know that Jesus will address these words to each of us, eventually, and we will arise to ever-lasting life. This is the hope for all of us who believe!
St. Paul exhorts us today to be our better, most generous selves. He reminds us to “excel in every respect” in all the ways we must be in this world. His vision for us believers is one of sharing and love; instruments of grace for God. In this time of so much selfishness, division, blame and fear, we have the words of St. Paul to remind us of our lives in Christ; a difficult challenge in the midst of any chaos. But Jesus’ words remind us, too: “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” …
Today the Book of Wisdom teaches us that life, like all created things, is “wholesome.” “God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.” We know, though, that somehow that beautiful divine wholesomeness gets corrupted and that sin comes into our world and as a result illness and death surround us. Yet we are not left adrift and alone. We have the teachings of St. Paul and the Words of Jesus for comfort, solace and guidance. Because we believe that Jesus takes us by the hand like Jairus’s daughter: He delivers us and makes us whole. “The images of healing in today’s Gospel remind us of the power of God’s love to restore us to life when sickness and death surround us.” (Pastoral Patterns)
We gather each week and we are strengthened by what we receive in every liturgy: the Word of God and the Eucharist and our communion with the faithful—the Body of Christ. If we trust in God and have faith, our liturgical prayer as the Body of Christ will sustain us through all illness, trial, sorrow and loss—our own personal crosses and storms. That is the point of what we do each time we gather; the point of why we (should) gather—our liturgy itself is the institutionalizing of Jesus’ own healing ministry.
How to have a faith that leads to trust? Faith is not a matter of gritting your teeth and holding on for dear life—it is about trusting the Lord enough to be honest about our doubt and let go. It’s about having faith enough in the character of God to ask questions and trust God enough to know you are loved anyway. This trust in God is bound up in our faith: we trust in God’s mercy and compassion, and this is what makes us faithful—and maybe (sometimes) fearless in the face of trial. Do not be afraid of being the complete Christian we are called to be: we are not alone and we choose to be as Jesus would be in all things. We are called to let go of our fears and just have faith.
Today our response to the Psalm is a phrase to always remember: “I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.” Believe what you sing and sing what you believe—choose faith and trust, not fear. Trust and be healed! “Talitha koum!”
Just a Note: Here are a couple of songs about trust in God.