Year B: 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
13-15, 2: 23-24
The Reading chosen to complement the Gospel speaks of Godís original desire for humanity: quite simply, life and health - made in Godís own image, we were destined never to be ill nor to die.
Like the writer of this passage - and the writer of the chapter of Genesis he refers to - we know that this is not the everyday reality of our own lives. There is illness in the world - and death. For the biblical writers, the explanation is found in the presence of evil in the world - a devil jealous of the new human creatures seeking to destroy them.
For us, this needs further reflection. We know that the myth of Adam and Eve holds deep meaning but sense some truth also in the idea that human creatures are the result of millions of years of evolution. Illness and death have been part of the life of the world since life began.
So, what could the message be for us?
The writer is describing a world wholly under Godís governance. In such a world, everything is life-giving - and death has no power over the creatures who live there. This is the world that we describe as heaven.
The world in which we live is affected by the power of evil - but we have the promise that, one day, we will be restored to the eternal inheritance for which we were created. Like the two women in the Gospel, we will be faced with illness and death - but their stories show us that God has not abandoned us to it all.
We will not feel the touch of Jesus in the way the women in the Gospel did but God still touches us with healing - and shows us the promise of heaven in the beauty of creation on earth. There will always be times when we wonder whether there is anything more to life than this - this reading reminds us that we were made for heaven and that, one day, that will be our eternal home.
What does it mean for me?
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