The prologue to St. John’s gospel introduces God’s Son as the Word. This life-giving Word—spoken down through the ages—became flesh and lived in our midst. For all of Christian history, the Word is intimately connected with all of human life. It is the purpose of TWIL (“The Word Is Life”) to bring the gospel to life and to bring life to the gospel. This blog will feature reflections on the Sunday Scriptures from contemporary Catholic writers, words of wisdom for our Spiritual journey from saints and blessed, and thoughtful reflections on masterpieces of sacred art. We at Living with Christ hope that they will help you grow in your spiritual life and deepen your relationship with the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is a link to the readings for this weekend.

Most of us can’t imagine circumstances that would prohibit us from entering our parish church. But a Jewish woman of Jesus’ time who was menstruating was prohibited by Jewish law from participating in communal prayer, in violation of the blood taboo, rendering all who came in contact with her unclean and in need of purification. The woman in today’s gospel has endured exclusion from her religious community for twelve years, due to her untreatable gynecological problem. By touching Jesus, she renders him impure according to Jewish law.

That is just the first taboo we see here. The second is the death taboo: touch a dead body and you are also rendered impure. You will have to undergo ritual purification in order to participate in the community’s life and celebrations. Touching the child’s body renders Jesus impure.

Yet in those touches, worlds are transformed. The woman is healed of her disease; she may now rejoin community life. The girl is raised to life, restored to the family table, where she will soon blossom into womanhood.

Such is the new world that Jesus inaugurates. He overcomes every barrier and limitation—sickness, sin, gender, nationality, and death itself—so that we all can enter into communion with each other and with God. He offers life—fullness of life with each other and with God—here and in the life to come. .

Bernadette Gasslein

Author: Living with Christ

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