Sunday, February 07, 2021

The Feast of St Josephine Bakhita.

"Wherever he went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed." (Mark 6: 56).

Monday 8th February 2021, in the 5th Week in Ordinary Time. We celebrate the feast of two saints today:
++ St Josephine Bakhita (1869 - 1947). Sudanese. Virgin and Religious. Josephine was brought to Italy as a slave. By Divine Providence, she became a sister of the Canossian order. Her exemplary and holy life was noticed. She bore patiently and heroically her last illness. Pope St John Paul II brought her relics to Sudan where she was canonized in 2000. St Josephine Bakhita is the patron saint of Sudan and victims of human trafficking.
++ St Jerome Emiliani. (1481 - 1537). Italian. Priest. Jerome was wayward as a young man. When he was surprised by grace, his life changed 360 degrees. He founded a religious congregation (Somaschi) which looked after the sick, the poor and orphans and abandoned children. St Jerome Emiliani died of the plague while ministering to the afflicted.

In our key Scripture for today, we observe again the importance of faith in healing. The woman with the issue of blood was full of faith and desire to be healed. She quietly crept behind Jesus and touched the hem of His clothes. She was instantly healed.  Prominent doctors tried but could not help her for twelve years. It is likely that the people of the village in Mark's narrative today knew of the story of the woman with the issue of blood. They brought the sick on mats to where Jesus landed in a boat. Like catechists, they prepared the sick to come to faith through testimonies of healings by Jesus. The sick who believed and touched Jesus were healed instantly.

What is the lesson here?
You may make a pilgrimage to Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe or Medjugorie. Without faith, you may come back disappointed.

The spiritual law here is simple to grasp. Whenever anyone in need comes to Jesus with expectant faith, he receives whatever he needs in accordance with the will of God. In all the pilgrimage sites mentioned above, many have received physical healing. Others have received spiritual and emotional healing. "All ate and were satisfied."

How is this so?
"Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes." (Romans 12: 2).

In God's will in our peace. How? Because God knows what is best for us not just today but for eternity.

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