By Amy Schisler

The Hem of His Robe - WINE

 

“Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction” ~ Mark 5:34

 

Touching the Hem of His Robe

I have very vivid memories of being a nine-year-old child standing near a barrier at Andrews Air Force Base when Pope John Paul II landed in my home state of Maryland. It was 1979, and he was concluding his first trip to the United States with a visit to the White House and the celebration of Mass on the National Mall. I recall that His Holiness landed in the evening. I was with my mother and our good friends and neighbors, whose husband/father was the pilot of Air Force One, and they had taken us as their guests to witness this historic moment.

As the Pope walked across the tarmac, I had the sudden desire to touch him, at the very least, to touch the hem of his robe, much like the hemorrhaging woman’s desire to touch the hem of Jesus’s cloak. I remember squatting down and reaching beneath the barrier, stretching my arm across the pavement, and touching the soft white cloth that floated by. When I stood, I could not see my mother or our friends. I looked and looked, trying to be strong and brave, and I was, until another mother saw me and asked if I was lost. I burst into tears, and she stood with me, aside from the crowd, and waited for my mother to find me.

Remarkable Faith

Sometimes, when I gaze at the picture hanging in my bedroom, a snapshot of the mural of the hemorrhaging woman which hangs in the Duc in Altum Church in Magdala, I see my nine-year-old hand in the place of the woman’s wrinkled one. I understand her desire to touch Jesus’s cloak, and for a brief time, I understand her fear and loneliness. I was without my mother for minutes, alone and looking for help, asking the other mother to stay with me, to help me find my mom. The hemorrhaging woman had nobody. She had been ostracized for twelve years. I can imagine that she felt lost, alone, and afraid. And then word came to her of this man of God who could perform miracles, who could heal people of their afflictions. She knew all she had to do was get close enough to touch his clothes. There was no question in her mind, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well” (Mark 5:25-28). What remarkable courage and faith!

How could this woman have known Jesus could and would heal her? How did she know all she needed to do was touch his cloak?

There is only one answer. She had immeasurable faith. She knew Jesus was the answer to all her questions, all her years of suffering. She knew Jesus had the power to make her whole, bring her back into society, take away her pain—both physical and emotional—and bring her back into the fold of his people. She knew that even the smallest action on her part would be enough for Jesus to feel her presence and her needs and to heal her.

 

Prayer

Father in Heaven, give me the remarkable faith of this woman who believed that she could be healed by the mere touch of your hem. Pleases, take away my pain, and heal me. Amen.

Call to Action

Sometimes we think that we aren’t enough, that our actions aren’t enough, that our pain and suffering go unnoticed; but our God is a merciful and loving God. He declared to Jeremiah, “I will restore you to health and heal your wounds” (Jeremiah 30:17). Whether we are suffering from a physical affliction, a mental one, or a spiritual one, all we need to have is faith; and all we need to do is reach out and touch the Lord, and he will know that we are there, asking for his help. Reach out to him today.

 

This reflection is an excerpt from Clothed With Strength and Dignity by Amy Schisler.

 

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