They will praise you, Lord, who long for you. — Psalm 22:(see 27)
Mass Readings: Hebrews 12:1-4 / Mark 5:21-43
Mother Teresa said, “Loneliness is the most terrible poverty.” The woman in today’s Gospel story would probably have agreed. Although her basic problem was physical, it had far-reaching effects, both socially and spiritually. Under Jewish law, her flow of blood rendered her unclean, and anyone she touched or who touched her would also be defiled. This made marriage impossible, and friendship fraught with difficulties. Her “uncleanness” also precluded full participation in community worship. A modern parallel might be AIDS.
In order to restore the woman — not merely to good health, but back into community life — Jesus submitted to the defilement of her touch. In order to reconcile sinful humanity to God, Jesus, the Sinless One, allowed himself to be stained and shamed by the sin of the whole world.
Prayer: Lamb of God, who took away my sins, help me to love the unloved.