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Liturgical day: Monday 14th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Gen 28:10-22a): Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and proceeded toward Haran. When he came upon a certain shrine, as the sun had already set, he stopped there for the night. Taking one of the stones at the shrine, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep at that spot. Then he had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens; and God's messengers were going up and down on it. And there was the Lord standing beside him and saying: «I, the Lord, am the God of your forefather Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you are lying I will give to you and your descendants. These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth, and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south. In you and your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing. Know that I am with you; I will protect you wherever you go, and bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you».

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he exclaimed, «Truly, the Lord is in this spot, although I did not know it!». In solemn wonder he cried out: «How awesome is this shrine! This is nothing else but an abode of God, and that is the gateway to heaven!». Early the next morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head, set it up as a memorial stone, and poured oil on top of it. He called the site Bethel, whereas the former name of the town had been Luz. Jacob then made this vow: «If God remains with me, to protect me on this journey I am making and to give me enough bread to eat and clothing to wear, and I come back safe to my father's house, the Lord shall be my God. This stone that I have set up as a memorial stone shall be God's abode».
Responsorial Psalm: 90
R/. In you, my God, I place my trust.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, say to the Lord, «My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust».

For he will rescue you from the snare of the fowler, from the destroying pestilence. With his pinions he will cover you, and under his wings you shall take refuge.

Because he clings to me, I will deliver him; I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in distress.
Verscicle before the Gospel (2Tim 1:10): Alleluia. Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 9,18-26): While Jesus was speaking to them, an official of the synagogue came up to him, bowed before him and said, «My daughter has just died, but come and place your hands on her, and she will live». Jesus stood up and followed him with his disciples. Then a woman who had suffered from a severe bleeding for twelve years came up from behind and touched the edge of his cloak. For she thought, «If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed». Jesus turned, saw her and said, «Courage, my daughter, your faith has saved you». And from that moment the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official's house and saw the flute players and the excited crowd, He said, «Get out of here! The girl is not dead. She is only sleeping!». And they laughed at him. But once the crowd had been turned out, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up. The news of this spread through the whole area.

«Your faith has saved you»

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the liturgy of the Word invites us to admire two splendid manifestations of faith. So splendid were they that they deserved to move Jesus Christ's heart —immediately!— provoking his reaction. Our Lord does not allow himself to be won over in generosity!

«My daughter has just died, but come and place your hands on her, and she will live» (Mt 9:18). We could almost say that a strong faith as such can “oblige” God. But, He likes that kind of obligation. The other testimony of faith of today's Gospel is also equally impressive: «If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed» (Mt 9:21). Both Jesus' reaction and the end result of this dialogue of faith are quite radical: «Courage, my daughter, your faith has saved you» (Mt 9:22).

We could even affirm that God gladly lets our good faith to “manipulate” him. What, instead, He does not admit is that we try to tempt him with our mistrust. This was the case with Zechariah, who asked evidence from Gabriel, the archangel: «Then Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this?’» (Lk 1:18). The Archangel did not shrink an inch: «And the angel said to him in reply, ‘I am Gabriel, who stand before God (...). But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time’» (Lk 1:19-20). And so it was.

It is He who wants to “oblige and commit himself” with our faith: «So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened» (Lk 11:9). He is our Father and He does not want to refuse anything that is convenient for his children.

But we must entrust our petitions to him with confidence; confidence and naturalness with God require treatment: to trust somebody we must know him; and to know him we must treat him. Thus, «faith provokes prayer, and when prayer arises it makes faith strong» (St. Augustine). Let us not forget the praise the Virgin Mary deserved: «Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!» (Lk 1:45).