Homily Thirteenth Sunday Year B God brings life

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Homily: Thirteenth Sunday Year B

Reading 1: God created life; he didn’t make death. He created us in his own image and likeness to live forever. When he breathed life into man and woman he gave them of his spirit, the immortal soul.  As a result, we will live forever. We are meant by God’s design to live forever with him in praise of his glory.


All that God created was good.  But as the reading said, “by the envy of the devil, death entered the world.”  Because the devil by his own choice was separated from God, so he wanted to separate man and woman from God. Death came from sin. The death the writer is reflecting on is not so much as physical death but spiritual death. Because of sin we will all physically die.


But God’s plan was not to be thwarted by the entrance of sin into creation. God in his mercy promised a Savior who would crushed the head of the evil one. That promised was fulfilled by the Son of God becoming Man. In faith we believe that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the lasting power of sin has been destroyed. We have been redeemed and reconciled. To die in sin means to be eternally separated from God and to experience the second death which is permanent. To die in Christ is to live with him forever in eternal peace.


Gospel: Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life, life to the fullest.” Extended illness is debilitating to life to the fullest. Physical death ends physical life. Jesus restores both the woman with this particular illness and the young girl to a more satisfying experience of physical life in anticipation of the fullness of life he desires for them and us.


Both Jairus and the woman saw Jesus as one who is empowered by God to heal the sick.  Initially, Jairus did not see Jesus as one who could restore physical life after death occurs. His daughter was dying. He sought her healing. The woman believed that Jesus could heal her, if she merely touched his robe. But her healing in not just for her. Jesus calls her to publicly attest to the power of God, restoring her to a fuller experience of life. This public witness was for the sake of Jairus.


When Jairus is told his daughter has died and it was no longer necessary for Jesus to do anything, Jesus challenged him to believe and trust in God’s plan. Her death was to serve a greater purpose than her healing would.


Jesus goes with Jairus, whose level of faith is being tested. The woman believed that if she would touch his garment, she would be healed. As Jairus trusted in the words of Jesus, he was about to see a greater manifestation of the power of God. Jesus raised his daughter back to physical life. Jesus is the Lord of life. But the physical healing of the woman and the physical restoration of the girl both pointed to the greater mystery of life with God forever in glory. The bondage of the woman and the loss of life of the girl, served the purpose of evil one.  Their restoration served the purpose of God.


Both experiences occur to draw us to the person who is the source of life. The greater miracle and sign of God’s love is our eternal salvation and eternal union with God in the fullness of life.


Reading 2: To be a disciple of Jesus, accepting him as Lord of one’s life and empowered and led through the anointing of the Spirit, one sees things differently. We see that all belongs to God and that we are stewards of the gifts God has blessed us with. One who is filled with the Spirit is a generous person.


We have become rich in Christ, whether we have much or little.  Trusting in the word of God that he is a generous giver, a disciple seeks what does God want him/her to do when an opportunity to financially help anther presents itself. The person does not give beyond one’s means, but ingratitude to God for what he/she has be given, knowing that God will care for the person in turn.


The faith community in Jerusalem was undergoing economic difficulties. Paul is asking the Gentile believers to take up a collection to help them. They are to do so not out of obligation but out of gratitude to what God has done for them.

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