Perhaps you are familiar with the story of John Newton, the author of the well-known hymn, “Amazing Grace”. John Newton was involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In a violent storm on the sea, he called out to God for mercy and experienced a profound spiritual conversion. This experience led him to study and become an ordained Anglican minister in 1764. He would write Amazing Grace based on his personal experience of God’s mercy and forgiveness.
What do John Newton, Jairus and the woman with the hemorrhage have in common? All three called out to Jesus for help. All three did what they could do with their own ability and power. All three trusted they would be heard by Jesus and answered. What did they do when answered? Today’s gospel doesn’t give us any information about Jairus or the woman with the hemorrhage after their healing. We are left to fill in the blank. We may assume both of them continued to live a life of faith and trust in Jesus. In the case of John Newton, we do know what happened, after God answered his call for help. He was no longer slave trading, but became a “slave for Jesus”.
St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote: “We must work as if everything depended on us, but we must pray as if everything depends on God.” In other words, we must make use of all the ordinary means that God gives us for help. We also must trust that God is always working for our good and we are forever under His loving care. We must on our part do those things to help and foster growth of our faith: prayer, receiving the sacraments and works of charity.
God bless us all always! Deacon Mike