One Big Crowd

“Jesus is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.”  Hebrews 7:25

Original by Jean D. Dortch

“Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him.”  Mark 3:8-10
The square was packed with people pushing to get to the front. By the time the Pope was driven around to our side, people were passing their children up to us to get Pope John Paul II to touch them. The entire moment was surreal. When he reached down and took my hand, I understood from that touch what all the hoopla was about and I knew I had been touched by one whom God had sent. The crowd had come from far away places and in order for the Pope not to be crushed, there were barricades and a glassed-in  vehicle. Everyone in the crowd that day wanted to touch him, not because he could cure, but because we knew that before us was a man who truly would intercede for us to God. We knew that the man before us was sincere when he said he would pray for our healing, for our needs, for our children and our parents, for us. The entire pressing crowd knew that his words were guided by the Spirit and through his touch we knew that he was sent to make a difference.
Jesus was sent to save us. He was sent to intercede for us to God. He was sent to heal us and to deeply touch our lives. Despite the crowds, the difficulties, the pressing of others in this world not to believe, we are called to go to Him and allow Him to save us. Be a part of the incredible crowd of believers and arrive early. He will intercede and your life will be changed forever.

A Healing Touch

“Do not touch anything in this store.” “Hands in your pockets. I mean it.” “No. No. Don’t touch.” Seems we are constantly on our children about keeping their hands to themselves, especially in certain stores where if they break something, it becomes ours. Touching can lead to ownership. Simple.

Today as Fr. Mark read the Gospel about Jesus healing the leper and referred to yesterday’s reading of the healing of Simon’s mother-in-law, he commented on the importance of Jesus’ touch. He could have just said the words and they would have been healed but instead He touched them. My mind immediately went to the idea of telling my children a million times not to touch things that did not belong to them. But these people, people everywhere, kept coming to Jesus because they wanted to belong to Him. Jesus owned up to the power to heal the sick and the lost and they bought into all He had to offer. Who wouldn’t?

Many times I have thought before giving money to a street person, “If I give it to him, he will expect it every time I see him.” If I touch him now, he’s mine. I’ve bought into his misery and his need. Well, so what! So what if I have to give him a little something every time I see him. Maybe it’s time for me to get my hands out of my pockets and touch someone. I certainly cannot heal with these hands but God can work through them some other way. We’re all so worried about breaking something. Well, it’s already broken so let’s work together to fix it. Let’s touch someone today and maybe tomorrow and who knows, maybe all week. Let’s not worry about what others think and start making a difference. Let’s buy into these Gospel messages and own up to our beliefs. It’s not easy. People we touch may rely on us again and again. And then again, that may be just the ticket we need.

Journeying with Pope Saint John Paul II

Sitting with my salesman yesterday, chit chatting about new product, could not have prepared me for the journey. I bought the new Pope Saint John Paul II holy cards and medals. April 27th will be here before we know it. How cool that I have actually shaken hands with this Saint! But today, I hear this story:

“We were to send the monstrance blessed by Pope John Paul II out to Pope John Paul II High School yesterday for use during Adoration. I called the principal to see that they had a Consecrated Eucharist to fit the Luna knowing that the priest and deacon were on the March for Life in Washington. Oops. They did not so I offered to bring all they needed for Adoration and they informed me that they had a visiting priest from Montreal who was going to say Mass for the students and have Exposition of the Sacrament. It was moving to walk into a gymnasium of young students, all kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, all completely silent. After some time, the Monstrance was taken to the Chapel and the priest prayed the Mass. As the homily began, again, complete silence. Years earlier, after spending time doing mission work, this priest was told he had a brain tumor and had 3 months to live. He and many other priests and bishops traveled to Rome to meet with Pope John Paul II and in a crowded hallway in the Vatican, the priest’s eyes met those of Pope John Paul II. He came to him and simply asked, “What can I do for you?” Pope John Paul II listened as the priest told his story and then asked to pray with him. With his hands on his head, they prayed for quite some time in the midst of the crowded hallway. Sweat poured from his face and he felt drained. (kind of like ‘the touch of the hem of his cloak’) The priest beside him asked if he was a Bishop or something. ‘No, just a priest’. ‘Well something’s going on.'”
As the story goes, during his next doctor visit, this priest was completely clear of the tumor. Wow!

What a God-incidence that this visiting priest to our Diocese, who was helping at a local Parish because our priest had gone home to India for a visit, was called to say Mass at John Paul II High School, where the Monstrance, blessed by Pope John Paul II, was used for Exposition by a priest who had been cured by Christ through the institution of the hands and prayers of Pope John Paul II. I say, WOW! Miracle of Miracles! The principal got up after Mass and said, “I know that this looks like it’s been planned. But it has not. I feel bad but I do not even know your name. Father, what is your name?” “Fr. Peter.”

As Sister spoke, I was visualizing the Vatican, the hallway, the people, the priest and the Pope. I was journeying where I had journeyed before and yet led to places I had never been. Today, in our Gospel, Jesus told the Apostles to prepare a boat because the crowd was pressing in on Him, so many sick being brought to be cured, just to touch Him. Just a touch. A brief encounter. And, true Faith in the One who can heal.