Monday, October 30, 2017

Met Georges Khodr: Let Us Live with Christ

Arabic original here.

Let Us Live with Christ

In today's Gospel reading, there are two miracles: the first miracle is the healing of the woman with the issue of blood which came about by chance, because the intention was for the Lord to heal the daughter of Jairus, the head of the synagogue, who had died as He was on His way to her.What is important for us is to see that each one of us is represented by the woman with the issue of blood and the daughter of the head of the synagogue at the same time.

The woman had been bleeding for twelve years and has spent all her money on doctors. The Evangelist Luke places us before a desperate accident: a woman who is not healed. The Lord comes and immediately heals her when she touches the edge of his garment and He felt that someone had touched Him and that power had gone out from Him.

In our encounter with the Lord, we must first touch Him, draw near to Him like the lover draws near to the beloved. If it can be said, we must struggle with Him, as God said in the Book of Genesis (32:24), when it talks about Jacob struggling with the angel. We must struggle with Him truthfully, a struggle where we meet His power, a struggle where the Lord acquires us completely, then we are sated by His presence, we are sated by His consolations. Then we are healed. Our broken, tormented, bewildered souls are healed. Every soul, when its adversity increases or adversity strengthens around it in the world, is inevitably cast down, as though into a pit. When a person doesn't know his fate, when he neither lives for today or for tomorrow, he is despairing, his strength is drained and he needs to touch Christ. Christ alone is able to lift the nightmare from us and to place us in His sweet presence.

After death came to Jairus' daughter, the Lord took her hand-- here also we have touch-- and called out to her, "Girl, arise." The power of Christ seeps even into the germs of death. Just as the woman with the issue of blood was immediately healed, so too did the girl's spirit return immediately to her. The Evangelist Luke emphasizes the expression "immediately" because the Lord turns to us with all the power and life that is in Him.

In this regard, death does not appear to be something strange. Death was strange before the Lord came. It was our enemy, oppressing us through sin. But after the Lord died on the cross, we all became companions in His death. Therefore He constantly says to us, "Believing son, son for whom I died, arise, arise from your sin first, for this is the great resurrection."

We have trained to rise from sin. If we live with Christ, do we not also rise with Him? Those who despair along the pathways of death or those who renounce their faith when a beloved face disappears from them, they are people who do not draw near to Christ in their life and so death comes to them as a stranger, just as it came to the people of the Old Testament and pagans. We are a people who are not entranced by life until the end and are not drained by life. We are a people who know and taste that this life is passing because if we have touched Christ, nothing and no one else consoles us. If we come to be familiar with Jesus, then we are strangers to our things and to ourselves. Livelihood may go away without regret. So why does life not go away from us also without regret, if we encounter Him after it.

We give things more value than they deserve and so we are afraid at death. We are attached to people as though they are the source of our life and it is difficult for us to depart this world, as though we are torn from death or illness.

If we place ourselves in eternal life, grace persists upon us in prayer that we send to the Lord. We confide in Him and we are intimates of the other life if it is brought to us. We are companions of Christ who beckons us to His face. Therefore we do not falter when someone or something departs, no matter how dear. While this world ends and people leave, we must know where is our life and where is our goal. If we are certain that Christ is our life, then we desire to be seized away to Him in glory.

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