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Be ready to complicate your life

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That gospel episode where Christ had to cross to the other side by boat and then immediately was met with a large crowd eager to listen to him, (cfr. Mk 5,21-43) somehow tells us that if we have to truly follow Christ as we should, we have to be ready to complicate our life.

Not only was Christ met with a large crowd. A synagogue official, Jairus, came begging him to come to his house to cure his dying daughter. And that was not enough. While he was on his way, a woman afflicted with hemorrhage for 12 years stealthily approached him to touch his cloak, convinced that by so doing, she would be cured. And in fact, she was cured!

That gospel episode tells us so many things. Since we always tend to get into trouble, and it can be something impossible for us to resolve, we should never forget that we can and should always go to Christ for help. With him, nothing is impossible, although his ways may not be in full accord with what we have in mind. But to be sure, he always listens to us and gives us what is best for us.

We just have to strengthen our faith so that we can overcome whatever obstacle we may have in approaching Christ to ask for help. This was the case of Jairus whose daughter eventually died but was resurrected by Christ, and the woman with that terrible ailment of hemorrhage.

We just have to train our mind and will to have that strong faith. For this, we should make many acts of faith during the day, so that more than just our reason and other human powers, we should be guided first by our faith in God.

We have to be wary when our human powers and faculties tend to take over as the main director and shaper of our life.

In all our affairs and situations in life, we should always go to God to ask for his help and guidance, and to trust his ways and his providence, even if our prayers and petitions appear unanswered, if not, contradicted. Whatever happens, as long as we go to God, everything will work out for the good.

Another lesson we can learn from this gospel episode is that if we have to be like Christ, we need to deepen our sense of compassion with everyone, unafraid to tackle whatever trouble such compassion may cause or occasion.

Christ’s heart flowed always with compassion, quick to notice the needs of others and to respond to them. And all this in all simplicity, telling the beneficiaries who were so bursting with gratitude that they wanted to broadcast what they received to the whole world, to keep quiet instead.

It’s an example that we should all try to imitate. One deep desire we should have is that of making as some kind of default mode that attitude of thinking always of the others, wishing them well all the time and doing whatever we can to help.

It’s obviously not easy to do, but we can always try. With God’s grace and with our persistent effort, we can little by little and day by day hack it, such that it becomes second nature to us to think and feel for the others. That’s what compassion is all about.

Compassion starts in the heart, in our thoughts and desires. In this level, there is no limit in what we can do. Obviously, when we try to translate these prayers, thoughts and desires into action and material things, we can be greatly limited. But insofar as prayers and sacrifices are involved, the possibilities are unlimited.*

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