Memorial of St. Agatha
Education is essential to creating safe environments in our Church, schools, homes and other places. One of the necessary things that children learn today is the difference between good touch and bad touch. Bad touch, of course is anything that is abusive and harms a person.
Today’s Gospel reading is about good touch.
A woman who has suffered for many years touches Jesus’ cloak and she is healed. Because of the nature of her illness—a flow of blood—she was considered ritually impure. She could not enter the temple. Some people avoided her. She suffered physically, spiritually and emotionally. In her desperation she reached out to Jesus. He cured her and then Jesus affirmed her faith.
A young girl is very sick. Her father asks Jesus to heal her, but by the time he arrives it appears that she is dead. Jesus calls her and touches her hand and she lives again!
In touching the girl and allowing himself to be touched by the woman, Jesus risks ritual impurity. He is not concerned about that. For him, it is more important to be an instrument of mercy and healing. When it comes to helping others who are suffering, Jesus is willing to get his hands dirty. We pray for that same willingness.