“God did not make death, nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living.” This is the introductory sentence in our first reading today. What a powerful message. This clearly highlights the ongoing debate about Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice that has divided the country at different levels today. This is also timely as this issue dominated the discussion at the General Assembly of the U.S. Bishops Conference last week. The Church has consistently affirmed that we should always respect and protect every human life from the moment of conception until natural death. Our God is God of life, not death. He created us to be imperishable and gain eternal life with Him. When we choose God, we choose eternal life; but when people turn away from God, they turn towards death and eternal damnation.
This theme of life and death continues in the Gospel today where Jesus worked two miracles for two women. At the center of both miracles is faith, healing by touch and restoration to normal life. In the first miracle, the woman with a hemorrhage was healed by touching Jesus, and in the second miracle, Jesus raised the dead girl by touching her. Power goes out from Jesus to cure, heal, and restore life. In doing so, Jesus establishes his identity as God, who has power over life and death. Those who witnessed the two miracles marveled at the power of Jesus by touching the sick. Jesus’ power to heal by just touching someone is quite contrary to the law of nature that we are accustomed to. For instance, by law of nature, if you put a healthy person in a room with sick people, do all the sick people catch health or does the healthy person become sick? Living people visiting a cemetery do not raise the dead but rather they eventually join the dead. Jesus defiles these laws of nature as proof that God has power over all creatures and the laws of nature.
The COVID-19 protocols found everywhere in the world today are geared toward preventing the sick from direct contact with the healthy. So much eff ort has been put into preventing physical illness and death, but most people pay little or no attention to the fact that sin is more contagious and more deadly than physical illness and that it leads to the death of the soul. The pro-life stand of the Church goes beyond respect and protection of human life here on earth, it is geared towards ensuring that we help lead all souls to enter into eternal life in heaven.
The scripture readings today remind us to always choose life, to always stand for and with life, to do our part in protecting the most vulnerable people in society, to speak for the voiceless and to preach the Gospel of life to all people around us. As we receive the Body and Blood of Christ during Mass today, I pray we touch Jesus with an act of faith like the woman in the Gospel. I pray He will also touch us with His healing hands to restore us to the fullness of life with Him here on earth and into eternity with Him in heaven.
Thank you and remain blessed,
Fr. JamesBACK TO LIST