Color print from a 1930s religious pamphlet. — Image by © PoodlesRock/Corbis
Wouldn’t it be amazing to be praised by God?!
There are several passages in which Jesus praises, compliments and delights in a person. We will read about three below who though very different from one another, all share one attribute . . .
One instance is the story of the hemorrhaging woman who made what had to be a tortuous crawl through the dusty and rocky road in the hope of healing after 12 years of constant disappointment. Just by touching the tassel of Jesus’ cloak, He felt her faith. He felt it as power leaving Him and flowing into her; this broken, grasping, desperate soul who chose to believe He could help her.
God’s praise of her?
“Daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering,” (Mark 5:34).
Then there was the centurion, a man who by culture should not believe in God. Who by his status as a citizen and his rank as a soldier of Rome, should have trusted in the world’s power. But, who instead chose to believe in Jesus, asking Him to come and save his beloved servant who was paralyzed and suffering dreadfully. Jesus offers to come, and the centurion responds,
“[…] just say the word and my servant will be healed,” (Matthew 8:8).
God’s compliment to him?
“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith,” (Matthew 8:10). “’You may go, as you have believed, let it be done for you.’ And at that very hour his servant was healed.” (Matthew 8:13).
Third, there is the Canaanite woman, who for the love of her daughter and even after a seeming insult says to Jesus,
“Lord, help me […] “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters,” (Matthew 15: 25,27).
God’s delight in her?
“O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish,” (Matthew 15:28).
The Apostle, Paul, defines faith in Hebrews 11:1 as,
“[…] the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen,”
But I confess, that definition has never been clear to me.
I have always needed simpler explanations, so whenever I am in prayer and a word strikes me, I like to look it up in the dictionary on my mobile phone. Our Lord has yet to disappoint, drawing me to the exact definition He wants me to see.
So how is faith defined on my phone? Faith is confidence or trust in a person.
What the hemorrhaging woman, the centurion and the Canaanite woman all possess is confidence in Jesus. They put their trust in the hope that this Man is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. Which I now understand, is exactly how St. Paul defines faith.
How can we have a faith worthy of God’s praise?
By doing exactly what these three did . . . we go to Jesus and we choose to believe that He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. In the Gospel of John 6:47-51, He most emphatically states,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
We are blessed to be able daily to come to Jesus where He is Really and Truly Present: in His Sacraments and in the Eucharist. We can do so by receiving Him in Communion at Mass, by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation often and by presenting ourselves to Him in Adoration of the Eucharist. To know more about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, go to: The United States Conference of Bishops answers basic questions about the Real Presence.
If you need hope in finding Jesus, contact us at Pilgrim Center of Hope. Answering Christ’s call, we guide people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. Let us journey with you.
Answering Christ’s call, we guide people to encounter him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life.