Saint for the day: Agatha (c. 230 – 251)
1 Kings 8:1-7,9-13 – Ps 132 – Mark 6:53-56
“How close can you get to Jesus?”
The Scripture Readings for our weekday Liturgies are presented on a two year cycle: one year with selections from the Old Testament; the other year with Scripture selections from the Letters of Paul. Both years have the same Gospel. In the end we’re given what we might call “two sets of bookends” and a wider appreciation of how the Old Testament and New Testament form a more complete picture of God’s intervention into our lives.
In the Old Testament the people went to great lengths to “bring the Presence of God” into their midst. They built a magnificent temple where they could go in and sense the “Glory of God in the Holy of Holies.”
In the Gospels, Jesus, the true ‘God of God and Lord of Lords” goes back on the road as the visible presence of God’s healing power. He doesn’t march out like the Old Testament warriors but moves quietly among the people – where they’re at. And the people know that he is known for His ability to heal and cure people of every kind if illness. And people know that they only need to “touch the tassel of His cloak” to be healed.
What does this tell us about Jesus? What does it tell us about how we should approach Him?
In the first place “they recognized Him” and knew that He had a relationship with God that brings about healing. Also, they knew that they only needed to get close enough to “touch the tassel” of his garments to be healed. This is the crux of our relationship with God/Jesus: as in the Old Testament, we need to honor and respect the presence of God in our “temples.” But we also must remember that we are told that we are the “temples of God” and the living stones of the Church. The other “bookend” of this theory is that we must be able to meet Jesus out on the roads of our up and down lives and at least get close enough to Him to just reach out and touch the tassel of his garment. Can you get that close to Jesus? Try it. You’ll like it! Amen!