Memorial of Saint John Bosco

First Reading: Hebrews 12:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us
and persevere in running the race that lies before us
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,
the leader and perfecter of faith.
For the sake of the joy that lay before him
Jesus endured the cross, despising its shame,
and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.
Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners,
in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 22:26B-27, 28 AND 30, 31-32

R. (see 27b) They will praise you, Lord, who long for you.
I will fulfill my vows before those who fear him.
The lowly shall eat their fill;
they who seek the LORD shall praise him:
“May your hearts be ever merry!”
R. They will praise you, Lord, who long for you.
All the ends of the earth
shall remember and turn to the LORD;
All the families of the nations
shall bow down before him.
To him alone shall bow down
all who sleep in the earth;
Before him shall bend
all who go down into the dust.
R. They will praise you, Lord, who long for you.
And to him my soul shall live;
my descendants shall serve him.
Let the coming generation be told of the LORD
that they may proclaim to a people yet to be born
the justice he has shown.
R. They will praise you, Lord, who long for you.

Gospel: Mark 5:21-43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
“My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him
and a large crowd followed him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to him,
“You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, Who touched me?”
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

While he was still speaking,
people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said,
“Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
“Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child’s father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,”
which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.


Where are you today?

Single and wishing you were married? Starting college and feeling alone? Are you a new mom who is overwhelmed? A grandmother wishing you could go back in time?

My tendency is to forget where I am, or more accurately to wish I were somewhere else. If only I were married, my life would be complete. If only I didn’t feel so lonely, I’d be a better witness to Christ. If only I didn’t have all these loud, little ones, I could really show the Lord my love in Adoration.

If only.

But, that is a lie. We are right where we are needed at this very moment. We always are. And, Jesus calls out to you and me with a cry, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”

Arise. Arise right were you are. Dig deep to find the gifts only you can offer Him at this very minute of your life.

We must “run the race that lies before us” not the one we wish did. Knowing there will be pain, crosses we feel we cannot shoulder, and things we do not understand, remember who went before us.

The Saints. Jesus Christ. And, as it says so eloquently in the First Reading, “[Y]ou have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.” And, I doubt we ever will.

I know at this point in my life, I cannot go to Adoration and pray peacefully, I cannot tour the country as a speaker spreading the word of Christ, and I cannot spend the majority of my days in silent prayer and fasting as I would be neglecting the gift of my vocation of motherhood.

Will I do those things someday? Time will tell. For now, I cannot worry about what I cannot do. I only can make the very most of offering every single part of my day for His glory while praying He shows me exactly how He will use me, and being content with whatever that is.

Let’s use this new year to see our places as exactly where we need to be. And, when we feel as if He cannot possibly use us where we are, imagine Him in Heaven (with the Saints who have all gone this way before us), with His eyes peering down at His beautiful creation, and saying, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”

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What then, is out of our reach? Ask Him to fortify you today!

Britt Fisk is the wife of Jeremy and mother of six young kids.  She spends her days living simply in the-middle-of-nowhere-New Mexico helping with the family beef cattle operation. You can find out more about her here.

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