The Mystery of Suffering

Death and illness are two things that many people find difficulty dealing with. When illness lingers on and on with no cure in sight, or when the death of a loved one seems imminent, people can be forced to take desperate measures. In today’s Gospel, a synagogue official pleaded with Jesus for his dying daughter. This scene is unusual because most religious leaders in the Gospel opposed Jesus and didn’t want anything to do with Him. Jairus, however, was a desperate father on the brink of losing his 12-year-old daughter; because of his love for his daughter, he humbled himself at the feet of Jesus. The same is true for the woman with the hemorrhage. She had tried many doctors and had spent a fortune in the hope of being cured, but to no avail. In a final act of desperation, she wriggled through the crowd to get to Jesus and to touch his cloak.

Why were these two stories placed together in the Gospel of Mark? One apparent reason is that these two stories not only enhance each other, they also converge into an important teaching. The girl was 12 years old, while the older woman had been afflicted with the hemorrhage for 12 years. The girl died so young and her life was cut short. On the other hand, the illness of the older woman deprived her of the most productive years of her life. These two miracles of Jesus are dramatic enactments of God’s will that all might have life, and through these miracles, Jesus fulfilled what was written in the Book of Wisdom: God does not rejoice in death; rather, God formed man in His own image and gave him life (cf. Wisdom 1:13, 2:23). These two miracles teach us that with faith in Christ, there is the inevitable movement from desperation to hope and from hope to life.

Are these miracle stories still relevant in today’s world? Even though Jesus healed the woman and brought the girl back to life, we know very well that everyone who believes in Christ is not guaranteed a pain-free life. Among those who pray for some kind of healing, some are healed rather quickly, while others do not seem to make any progress even for a very long time. Nonetheless, believers who are in distress rightly pray for God’s healing and deliverance, because we are assured that God wills what is good for us (see Mark 1:32-34; Luke 12:32; John 10:10). Those who pray might be surprised, either receiving more than they could have thought to ask for, or being given not the cure they desire but a different kind of healing that brings peace and blessing even in the desperation of illness and death.

Please reserve this date in your calendars. Next year, June 30 to July 3rd, 2022, our church, the Holy Name of Jesus Chinese Catholic Mission, will hold a Chinese Cursillo weekend. The goal of this 72-hour retreat is for each participant to be enflamed in their faith, to be living witnesses of Christ’s love, and to become vibrant members of their parish. This is the first time a Chinese Cursillo will be held in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. More details will follow as soon as plans are finalized.

Our church will have a garage sale on July 24 from 8am to 2pm. The garage sale will be open to the public, so we need a number of volunteers to be present. If you can help for an hour or two, please coordinate with Angela Lau. PLEASE NOTE: This will be a CLEARANCE GARAGE SALE to get rid of all the old stuff in the social hall and storage room. EVERYTHING MUST GO, THEREFORE, PLEASE DO NOT BRING ANYTHING TO CHURCH FOR THE GARAGE SALE.

Vacation Bible School will be on Saturday, July 17. This parish event begins at 1:00pm and ends at 4:00pm. All children from grades 1-8 are welcome. Please register with Mrs. Long Che Chan.

The Pastoral Council has decided to hold a parish picnic on Labor Day, September 6, 2021, instead of July 4th. There will be no parish picnic on July 4th.

Prayer List:Agnes Lam,Shuang-san Wang,Bo Hao Pan,Winnie Lee,Anni Lee,Pat Hui,Leslie Tsui, Marcus Ling, Judy Su。