July 1997


The Word of Life, taken from Scripture, is offered each month as a guide and inspiration for daily living.

 

Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you" (Mk 5:34)


Among the crowd that followed Jesus and thronged about him, there was a woman afflicted with a hemorrhage. She touched his cloak in hopes of a cure. Jesus noticed it and asked who had touched his clothing. Fearful and beginning to tremble, the woman fell on her knees in front of him and told him the whole truth. He said to her:

 

 

Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you"


In this, as in many accounts of cures he performed, we note that Jesus, before working a miracle, requires that the person have faith.
We could think that Jesus worked miracles in order to arouse faith in people; from his words, however, we understand that he demands faith before performing the miracle.

 

 

Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you"


Jesus demands faith. This faith is not some sort of magic power nor is it a psychological preparation to ready the person for the cure. Jesus, in fact, sometimes rewards the faith of other people, not just the sick - like the centurion, for example, who had asked Jesus to cure his sick servant (cf Mt 8:10).
Jesus requires faith; faith in him for whom everything is possible.

 

 

Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you"


Through faith, we clearly show that we are not relying on ourselves but on One who is stronger. Not counting on our strength we turn to God, awaiting everything from him, and this allows him to work.
An example of this kind of faith is the centurion we mentioned before. He recognizes his own unworthiness. He knows he is powerless, but at the same time he expresses his complete trust in god: "Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured: (Mt 8:8).
Faith then is indispensable to the cure because God respects the dignity and freedom of the individual and does not act unless the person wants him to.

 

 

Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you"


We know that nowadays not to assert one's independence and to open up to the power of God is considered rather a humiliation or an alienation.
The fact is, however, that if we act like this, we become closed within ourselves and end up face to face with our own limitations.
If instead we open ourselves up to God, we welcome Someone who is greater that we are, who can truly help us to fulfill ourselves and be happy.

 

 

Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you"


This faith, however - the required premise for God to act in us - is only a first step toward doing what he wants from us.
The trust in the hearts of those who ask for God's help is actually destined to become a deep relationship, a full communion with him. Jesus calls the woman he cured "daughter" to indicate that what he most wanted to give her was not just the cure for her body, but divine life which could completely renew her. Jesus worked miracles so that the salvation he was bringing would be welcomed, and with it God's pardon and the gift of the father which was he himself. Receiving this gift we are transformed.

 

 

Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you"


How then can we live this Word of Life? When serious need arises let us show God our total trust in him. Certainly this does not free us from our responsibility or dispense us from doing all our part; it is when we have done everything possible that we can expect God's special intervention.
Moreover, our faith must be put to the test as we see in the instance of the woman suffering from hemorrhage who overcame the obstacle of the crowd which stood between herself and the Master. There was also the blind man of Jericho who was not afraid of bothering the crowd with his cries (cf Mk 10:47-52) and the leper who dared to approach Jesus, overcoming his fear of bypassing certain religious restrictions (cf Mk 1:40). We must have faith then, a faith which does not doubt in the face of trial.
Furthermore, we must show Jesus that we have understood the immense gift he has brought us - the gift of divine life. We must show him our gratitude and cooperate with the graces we have received.
If we do this we, too, will be able to ask for many graces for our life here on earth and hear for ourselves the words: " Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you."
Chiara Lubich