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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

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St. Agatha

Hebrews 12:1-4
Psalm 22:26-28, 30-32
Mark 5:21-43

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approach with great awe

"Fearful and beginning to tremble now as she realized what had happened..." —Mark 5:33

I had a good laugh the other day when I passed by a church sign that said, "NOW OPEN BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND EASTER!" The parish was clearly targeting the once-or-twice a year church attendee by copying a common retail marketing idiom, and it seemed humorous in front of a church. Of course they are open! Why aren't people flocking there every week of the year? There was some deep theology worth contemplating in that simple sign.

After laughing about it last week, the Holy Spirit brought this memory back as I listened to today's Gospel. We can learn so much from the hemorrhaging woman's expectant faith (Mk 5:28) as we approach the sacraments, especially the amazing gift of the Holy Eucharist. We can either be like the crowd, which pushes in on Jesus to try to get something from Him (Mk 5:31), or we can approach Jesus like the faith-filled woman.

Approach the sacraments with trembling, awe, and expectant faith (Mk 5:33). Through the sacraments, Jesus will help you in ways that transcend the ways of the crowd and the world.

Prayer:  Jesus, You did something amazing all because of the expectant faith of that woman in the Gospel. Give me increased and expectant faith (Lk 17:5).

Promise:  "Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you. Go in peace and be free of this illness." —Mk 5:34

Praise:  Even while enduring tortures, St. Agatha remained faithful to her Bridegroom, Jesus.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 13, 2012

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