Today’s Gospel from Mark should be bookmarked by anyone who feels God doesn’t hear their prayers. It offers a double-whammy of faith’s power to heal battered souls. It starts with a man who has such faith in Jesus as the embodiment of God’s healing power that he asks the Lord to heal his dying daughter.
‘My little daughter is desperately sick. Do come and lay your hands on her that she may be saved and may live.’
Obviously, jesus is so moved by his faith that he makes the journey to the man’s home. Why didn’t he just say “go, your daughter is healed,” as he did once before? Because this was an important journey for him to make. On the way, surrounded as he was by gawkers and the curious, he was sensitive enough to feel one genuine touch of pure faith come through this chaos of mixed feelings. The ailing woman who touched his clothes in the belief it would heal her, had her prayer answered.
‘If I can just touch his clothes, I shall be saved.’ And at once the source of the bleeding dried up, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint. And at once aware of the power that had gone out from him, Jesus turned round in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’
These two acts of faith were so powerful because they were so pure. They weren’t laced with curiosity, but infused by belief. This gospel is a lesson in how to pray. Open your heart to God’s will in your life and your prayer will be answered; maybe not in the way you expect, but in a way that will ultimately heal. Today’s reading from the book of Wisdom explains why purity in the spirit of prayer is so important, and should be stored in the heart while praying:
“For uprightness is immortal. For God created human beings to be immortal, he made them as an image of his own nature; Death came into the world only through the Devil’s envy, as those who belong to him find to their cost.”
Purity in spirit is key to eternal healing.