Saturday, June 20, 2015

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time



Year B

Thirteenth Ordinary Sunday


God helps us if we help ourselves
Having faith

Points to note

The reading is part of a much longer reading, long enough as it is.  In the longer version, Jesus had a detour: he met the woman with a haemorrhage, who believed that if she could just touch the hem of his cloak, she will be well again.  The point here is the same:  trust in Jesus and you will be healed.  As such, I have opted for the shorter version, which has the same point in it.


Acclamation before the Gospel
Alleluia!  Alleluia!
Our Saviour Christ Jesus banished death,
and he has proclaimed life through the Good News.


In last Sunday’s reading, we saw how the disciples depended on Jesus for help when they were frightened.

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Mark
(Mk 5: 21-43)
When Jesus had crossed in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered round him and he stayed by the lakeside.  Then one of the synagogue officials came up, Jairus by name, and seeing him, fell at his feet, and pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is desperately sick.  Do come and lay your hands on her to make her better and save her life.”  Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed him.

While he was still speaking some people arrived from the house of the synagogue official to say,” Your daughter is dead: why put the Master to any further trouble?  But Jesus had overhead this remark of theirs and he said to the official, “Do not be afraid; only have faith.”  And he allowed no one to go with him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.  So they came to the official’s house and Jesus noticed all the commotion, with people weeping and wailing unrestrainedly.  He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and crying?  The child is not dead but asleep.”  But they laughed at him.  So he turned them all out and, taking with him the child’s father and mother and his own companions, we went into the place where the child lay.  And taking the child by the hand he said to her, “Talitha, kum!”  which means ‘Little girl, I tell you to get up.’  The little girl got up at once and began to walk about for she was twelve years old.  At this they were overcome with astonishment, and he ordered them strictly not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.

This is the Gospel of the Lord


Have you ever asked anyone for help before?  Get the children to talk about specific situations and what happened during these situations.  Focus on the people who helped them and how those people did it.

Sometimes, when people help you, there are conditions: you must do something for them to help you.  For example, Daddy is not going to help you with your homework if you are not going to do any of it.  Mommy will lift the computer ban if you promise not be naughty again.  Do you have any other examples?  If possible, lead the children to the examples of helping that they mentioned just now. 

Are there any examples where you are helping someone and they do not say thank you or show appreciation even as you do it (imagine if you are helping someone with drawing a picture and they keep telling you are doing a lousy job); or where the person you are helping is not helping themselves (imagine you offer to help someone with carrying things and they leave it all to you to do all the carrying while they relax), would you like it?  Let’s hope the children are not such nasty brats themselves!!  Take care though that this does not become a gripe session.

The idea here is to get the children to understand that it is common for us to do something so that others would help us.  It is not that the person helping us is not sincere; or that the person helping us is taking advantage of us; or that they do not love us.  This is just good manners as part of being good people and it also helps us learn to do the things that we currently need help to do.

It is very much the same with God: He expects us to do certain things when he helps us.  What do you think they are?  He expects us to help ourselves; he expects us to say thank you and he expects us to have faith in him that he could help us.  Link the last part back to the reading:  the father of Jairus had faith in Jesus unlike those who laughed at him.  Despite this, Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter because Jairus believed that Jesus will really help him.

1 comment:

  1. #Reasons to Believe in Jesus

    Reasons to believe Jesus is alive in a new life with God can be found in quotes from two prominent atheists and a biology textbook.
    > Thus the passion of man is the reverse of that of Christ, for man loses himself as man in order that God may be born. But the idea of God is contradictory and we lose ourselves in vain. Man is a useless passion. (Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology, New York: Washington Square Press, p. 784)

    > Among the traditional candidates for comprehensive understanding of the relation of mind to the physical world, I believe the weight of evidence favors some from of neutral monism over the traditional alternatives of materialism, idealism, and dualism. (Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, location 69 of 1831)

    > And certain properties of the human brain distinguish our species from all other animals. The human brain is, after all, the only known collection of matter that tries to understand itself. To most biologists, the brain and the mind are one and the same; understand how the brain is organized and how it works, and we’ll understand such mindful functions as abstract thought and feelings. Some philosophers are less comfortable with this mechanistic view of mind, finding Descartes’ concept of a mind-body duality more attractive. (Neil Campbell, Biology, 4th edition, p. 776 )

    Sartre speaks of the "passion of man," not the passion of Christians. He is acknowledging that all religions east and west believe there is a transcendental reality and that perfect fulfillment comes from being united with this reality after we die. He then defines this passion with a reference to Christian doctrine which means he is acknowledging the historical reasons for believing in Jesus. He does not deny God exists. He is only saying the concept of God is contradictory. He then admits that since life ends in the grave, it has no meaning.

    From the title of the book, you can see that Nagel understands that humans are embodied sprits and that the humans soul is spiritual. He says, however, that dualism and idealism are "traditional" alternatives to materialism. Dualism and idealism are just bright ideas from Descartes and Berkeley. The traditional alternative to materialism is monism. According to Thomas Aquinas unity is the transcendental property of being. Campbell does not even grasp the concept of monism. The only theories he grasps are dualism and materialism.

    If all atheists were like Sartre, it would be an obstacle to faith. An important reason to believe in Jesus is that practically all atheists are like Nagel and Campbell, not like Sartre.

    by David Roemer