Many years back when I was a young engineer, there were instances that the things we’re doing at work didn’t turn out the way it was designed to be. Some incidents happened: like an equipment failure, an instrument unable to respond to design instructions, or a computer processor getting a bug in its program making it unable to detect a deficiency it was supposed to prevent. Failures beyond our control can happen to machines such that in the midst of it, in your desire to have smooth operations; you tried to pull all the skills (and tricks) you’ve learned and yet nothing seemed to work. You felt the world about to crumble. The problem at hand seemed to get bigger and bigger, and when the chance of success is getting dimmer with each passing second, you felt the hopelessness and the desperation sinking in. Meantime, you felt people waiting for you making some decisions to contain the seemingly inevitable problem. Then suddenly from out of the blue, you remembered that there is a force out there that’s much bigger than all of these combined; the One Name that you whispered to yourself, “Jesus, please help me!”
In the Gospel today (Mk. 5: 21-43), Jesus showed the crowd how He loved others even in the face of doubt. The raising to life of Jarius’ daughter was a case in point,
While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said,
“Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
The crowd thought there’s no more point disturbing the Lord since the girl of twelve has died. But Jesus called for faith even when all seemed lost. In between this story, a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years came behind Jesus in the crowd and touched His cloak. She had actually spent all that she had, yet her situation only grew worse. In other words, she was in a state of despair and hopelessness! But she trusted the Lord and in her despair, she found her only hope in Christ. She fell down before the Lord and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
These stories of Jesus’ compassion for the hopeless also tell us not to give up when all seem lost. He reassures that He is with us in our journey. In the First Reading (Wis. 1: 13-15; 2:23-24), the Book of Wisdom tells us, “God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.” He did not make hatred, wars, climate change, racism, or immorality. He did not make selfishness, disrespect, pride nor does He sugarcoat lies into truth. He does not want all the suffering that is in the world today. “For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him.” Yes, God created us in His own image and likeness, but He also gave us free will to choose between good and evil. Then when Adam and Eve fell, it was like, “But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who belong to his company experience it.”
Back to my story: In those experiences, God always intervened. He always gave me answers and never allowed my work to be compromised. His Spirit is always there to whisper the answers to my questions. He never fails me even to this day!
All the trials and challenges we face are not the ends in itself. These are meant to make us stronger, better, and wiser in the important matters of life. We should look at these with the fervent hope that something good will come out, if not in this life, in the great beyond. Even should it result to failure or even death (just like in terminal sickness), we should rejoice that it will give us eternal life. Thus, we should be more thankful if given the opportunity to dedicate our lives to God.
Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB, always like to remind that,
‘In order to be truly happy, you should inspire others. When others become inspired, you make them happy. When you see others becoming happy because of what you’re doing, you actually become happier. So, it really means that, being happy is not really about you, but is about inspiring, sharing and giving of yourself to Jesus and to others.’
This Sunday, we are presented with the challenge: Is our faith in God strong enough to fully submit to His will?
Let us trust that God will create good from evil and will turn any misfortune into a blessing beyond our imagination. We just need to fully trust Him. Our faith will tell us not to rationalize what’s happening, we just need to cling to Him, hold on, and need not be afraid.
“I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.” (Ps. 30: 2a)