Saint for the day: Veronica Giuliani (12/27/1660 – 7/9/1727
Genesis 28:10-22a – Psalm 91 – Matthew 9:18-26
“For he will rescue you from the snare of the fowler; from the destroying pestilence. With his pinions he will cover you and under his wings you shall take refuge. (Today’s Responsorial Psalm 91)
Today, there is a wealth of understanding in all three of the Holy Scriptures that are given to us. We encounter three very different people who are all seeking to “get close to God:” Jacob, in a dream, is shown a “way” when he sees a stairway between earth and heaven; the women with the hemorrhage tries to take an anonymous approach to healing; the “official” is straight forward: “My daughter has just died. Come, lay your hand on her, and she will live!”
In between, we have the Responsorial Psalm and the verse quoted above that gathers these very different ways of seeking God’s “touch” through Jesus – like a mother hen protecting her chicks.
But there are sub-texts to all three of these encounters. Jewish law had strict rules about how the people buried the dead. It had to be done quickly – “before the sun set” – which was probably done out of a very practical realization the people could be subject to various forms of contamination. The same could be said about any form of hemorrhage.
The official hurried to Jesus hoping that he would get to Him before people might bury his daughter before she was actually completely dead. The woman with the hemorrhage for twelve years was like the walking wounded or the living dead.
In the Scripture reading from Genesis about Jacob’s dream we have yet another Old Testament account of God reaching down to earth and making holy the very ground we live on. In all three of these examples we can see that God desires to reach out to us where we are. And where we are in need. Jacob’s response is to say, “Truly, the Lord is in this spot, although I did not know it!”
But God is also in the anonymous encounter of the woman with the hemorrhage and the official whose daughter had “died.” Three very different ways to encounter healing from God.
Go back and read today’ Responsorial Psalm as your “prayer for today” and come to know that God will “be with you in distress.” Amen!