Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Engaging Faith | Thu, Jul 2, 2009

By John Bucki, SJ
Source: Center of Concern

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 28, 2009


Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24

2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15

Mark 5:21-43 or 5:21-24, 35b-43

June 26: International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
July 1: Canada Day in Canada

July 4: Independence Day in the United States


Life, especially human life, belongs only to God: for this reason whoever attacks human life, in some way attacks God himself.

John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 9

The council lays stress on respect for the human person: everybody should look upon his or her neighbor (without any exception) as another self, bearing in mind especially their neighbor's life and the means needed for a dignified way of life, lest they follow the example of the rich man who ignored Lazarus, who was poor.

Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 27

Today, there is an inescapable duty to make ourselves the neighbor of every individual, without exception, and to take positive steps to help a neighbor whom we encounter, whether that neighbor be an elderly person abandoned by everyone, a foreign worker who suffers the injustice of being despised, a refugee, an illegitimate child wrongly suffering for a sin of which the child is innocent, or a starving human being who awakens our conscience by calling to mind the words of Christ: "As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers or sisters, you did it to me" (Mt 25:40).

Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 27

Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the true light, the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history. But to reach him we also need lights close by-people who shine with his light and so guide us along our way.

Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 49

Thoughts for your consideration

The scriptures today affirm the value of life.  God desires life not death for all people.  God desires a good quality of life for all people  The gospel stories reflect God's desire to heal those who are ill and to bring people to the fullness of life and health.

The approach of Jesus is very person centered.  He cares for individuals.  He spends time with the woman who has the hemorrhage.  (He is not afraid that she is "unclean.") He drives out the crowds so that he can personally deal with the little girl and her family.  He makes sure that she has something to eat.

Keeping in mind the approach of Jesus, we may want to direct our attention to some of the particular issues that confront our world today.

  • - God wants life and health for all people, yet the marvels of modern health care are not available to all. This is true in the United States where not everyone has access to insurance, and is dramatically true in the poorest nations of the world.
  • - "God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living." Yet war and violence continue to result in death. Irresponsible environmental practices result in death and illness to countless people and to other creatures of the earth. The use of the death penalty and practice of abortion continue to destroy life.
  • - The touch of Jesus is a healing touch. Yet, people are so often afraid of or denied the experience of a healthy healing, loving touch. Groups and communities of people do not connect, but remain isolated from one another.
  • - Jesus responds to the need of the child who is ill. Yet, today countless children do not have the care, medicines, and preventive practices to stay health as they face illnesses like malaria or HIV/AIDS. The United Nations reports that a billion people go hungry.

Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

When have your encountered people who are in need of healing or health care and have not had access to it? 


Where do you see unnecessary death in our world? 

Actions - Links
Global Poverty
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services call on one million Catholics in the United States to confront global poverty and add their voices to end hunger, disease, conflict, and other issues that affect the lives of our brothers and sisters worldwide.  You can participate at

Network: Food for children and stopping wage theft

Network is a national Catholic Social Justice Lobby.

They invite participation in various action alerts.  Among issues they are lobbying about right now are the After School Meals Act  and the efforts of the Department of Labor to stop wage theft among low wage workers

"Crazy Facts"

1.02 Billion People are Hungry

World hunger is projected to reach a historic high in 2009 with 1.020 million people going hungry every day, according to estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  "A dangerous mix of the global economic slowdown combined with stubbornly high food prices in many countries has pushed some 100 million more people than last year into chronic hunger and poverty," said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf.

Prayers of Intercession
Response: Our God is a God of life.

For the poor that they may have what the need to live a good life, we pray....

For the people of the Middle East, that they may be able to live in peace, we pray....

For all people who are caught up in situations of war and terrorism anywhere in the world, we pray....

For those without affordable health care, that they may have what they need to live a healthy and good life, we pray.....

For those who are hungry, that they may have access to a good and healthy diet that will nourish their life, we pray...

For a deep and profound respect for life from conception to natural death, we pray....

Prayer - Meditation

A Prayer for the World

Let the rain come and wash away

the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds

held and nurtured over generations.

Let the rain wash away the memory

of the hurt, the neglect.

Then let the sun come out and

fill the sky with rainbows.

Let the warmth of the sun heal us

wherever we are broken.

Let it burn away the fog so that

we can see each other clearly.

So that we can see beyond labels,

beyond accents, gender or skin color.

Let the warmth and brightness

of the sun melt our selfishness.

So that we can share the joys and

feel the sorrows of our neighbors.

And let the light of the sun

be so strong that we will see all

people as our neighbors.

Let the earth, nourished by rain,

bring forth flowers

to surround us with beauty.

And let the mountains teach our hearts

to reach upward to heaven.


-Rabbi Harold S. Kushner

(Author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People)

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