January 31, 2017

John Bosco

January 31, 2017:  St. John Bosco, Priest

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Legend below
Listen

For Psalm 22
The 1st reading exhorts us to run in the faith with perseverance, eyes fixed on Jesus.  In the Gospel, Jesus looks at us and sees us.  He's is close to us, always in the crowd.  He didn’t walk around with guards so nobody could touch him.  No; people surrounded him.  And there were more people every time.  He sought people, and people sought him; they fixed their gaze on him and he on them, on each individual.  Jesus doesn't standardize people; he looks at each one.
The gospel narrates two miracles:  Jesus heals a woman suffering from hemorrhaging who touched his cloak, and he raises Jairus' 12-year-old daughter.  His gaze falls on the big and the small.  He sees all but looks at each of us; he sees our problems and joys.  He's not afraid of the big things, but he also takes account of the little ones.
If we run with perseverance, eyes fixed on Jesus, we'll be astonished, as the people were when Jairus' after he raised Jairus’ daughter.  When I go forward, looking at Jesus. I find his gaze is fixed on me!  And I feel the astonishment of encountering Jesus.  But don't be afraid!  The woman wasn't afraid to touch Jesus’ mantle.  Run down this road with your gaze fixed on Jesus, and he'll fill you with awe.
Read
  • Heb 12:1-4  We're surrounded by a cloud of witnesses; rid yourself of sin and run the race, keeping eyes fixed on Jesus who endured the cross and took his seat at God's right.  He endured opposition so you wouldn't lose heart.  You haven't struggled to the point of shedding blood.
    'Cloud of witnesses' word cloud
    (animate)
  • Ps 22:26b-28, 30-32  "They will praise you, Lord, who long for you."  I'll fulfill my vows.  The lowly shall eat their fill.  All shall turn to the Lord and bow.
  • Mk 5:21-43  Synagogue official Jairus asked Jesus to lay hands on his daughter to heal her; they went off.  A woman with hemorrhages touched Jesus' cloak and was cured.  "Who touched my clothes?"  She told him everything.  "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."  To Jairus:  "Your daughter has died."  Jesus, hearing the wailing:  "She's asleep."  He took her by the hand:  "Arise!"  She rose; all were astounded....
    Reflect
        • Creighton:  How we "rid ourselves of burdens" reflects who we are, how we show compassion, and prepares us for the final "race" with eyes fixed on Jesus. It's a struggle, but the reward is to be with the "author and perfecter of faith."
        • One Bread, One Body:  "Second wind":  If you've run the Christian race for years, you might be tempted to stop running.  To keep going, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and he'll draw you to himself.  In him we have strength for everything.
        • Passionist:  On the surface, the gospel is about Jesus healing the sick, but note the faith of the people crying out for his power.  They turn to someone they’ve never met.  Jesus' saving power is limitless and available to everyone.
        St. John Bosco
        Jairus waits patiently while Jesus spends time with the woman, and he's not disappointed.  Later, Jesus would wait to go to Lazarus, then raises him from the dead.  God’s miracles know no limits.  God walks with us in all our actions and trials, even situations that seem hopeless to us and times we're impatient or don't understand.  We may not get what we want or when we want it, but it's always right to trust in God’s saving power.
          • DailyScripture.net:  "The woman who took heart in Jesus": Helpless people weren't disappointed when they sought Jesus out.  Jesus gave hope in apparently hopeless situations; he hoped in God, spoke words of hope, and ignited faith.  Jesus showed his concern for others and readiness to heal and restore life.
          "Glory to you, Son of God; your healing power is proclaimed through the woman's suffering.  Through her they could see the divinity that can't be seen. Through his healing power his divinity became known.  Through her healing her faith was made manifest.  She caused him to be proclaimed and was honored with him.  For truth was proclaimed together with its heralds.  She was a witness to his divinity; he was a witness to her faith... He saw her hidden faith and gave her a visible healing" (Ephrem the Syrian)
          Jesus gave hope to Jairus who had the courage to go to him openly, inviting scorn.  People had no hope, but Jesus took his daughter by the hand and delivered her from death.  Peter Chrysologus:  "The man was a ruler of the synagogue, versed in the law.  He'd surely read that God created man.  He trusted his daughter would be recreated and restored by that same hand...." (Peter Chrysologus)
            • John Bosco, priest, cared for the young (night classes, boarding house...), founded the Salesians
          Dress legend
          • 'Boat' tie bar:  Jesus crossed in the boat (gospel)
          • 'Feet' pin:  Jairus fell at Jesus' feet (gospel)
          • 'Coin' tie bar:  Hemorrhaging woman had spent all her money (gospel)
          • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  "Go in peace and be cured" (gospel)
          • 'Runner' tie pin:  Persevere in running the race... (1st reading)
          • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  ...keeping eyes fixed on Jesus (1st reading)
          • 'Cross' tie pin:  Jesus endured the cross (1st reading)
          • 'Blood drop' pin:  You haven't struggled to the point of shedding blood (1st reading); woman with hemorrhage (gospel)
          • 'Hands' pin:  Woman suffered at doctors' hands; "lay your hands on my daughter"; Jesus took her by the hand (gospel)
          • 'Heart' pin:  Don't lose heart (1st reading); may your hearts be merry (psalm)
          • Clothes:  "If I just touch his clothes, I'll be cured"/"Who touched my clothes?" (gospel)
          • 'Kids, school bus, clouds' tie:  "We're surrounded by a cloud of witnesses" (1st reading); St. John Bosco cared for youth; Catholic Schools Week