Today’s Gospel presents a moving scene: a woman who had been suffering with an internal hemorrhage for 12 years, makes her way through the crowd, approaches the Lord from behind, and manages somehow, in spite of the crowd pressing in on every side, to touch the hem of His garment. She was thinking: “If I but touch the hem of His garment, I shall be saved”. What faith in this woman! The Gospel tells us that as soon as she did touch it, she was healed and she felt in herself that she was made whole again.
Her faith inspires us deeply, as does the power of the Lord. But what does it mean for us? What is the hem of the Lord’s garment that we could touch? To answer that question, we need only reflect upon what clothes are and what they do. Their first function — even before protecting the body from the cold and heat — is to cover the body, hiding it from the eyes of others. The body is there, under the clothing, but it is not seen. What is it today that hides the Body of Jesus from our eyes if not the sacraments? The Lord has put all of His power and His very presence into them, especially the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in which He is substantially present with His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. If we want to touch the hem of His garment today, all we have to do is approach the sacraments which contain Him, all the while hiding Him from our eyes and thus giving merit to our faith.
At the end of the passage, Our Lord says to this brave woman: “Thy faith has saved thee, daughter”. So it is that, if we approach the sacraments with faith, certain that Jesus is truly there and that He can heal us, then we will indeed be cured.
What kind of ailments do we have to be cured of? Each of us must look deep into his own heart. We will find there many things amiss, many hidden corners into which we tend not to look, for we know there is something spiritually diseased, something we can’t deal with. No matter, you can’t, but Jesus can, give it to Him. Touch His garment, approach the sacraments with faith and contrition for your sins, and you will be healed. Go to confession, acknowledge your sins and there through the absolution of the priest Jesus will touch you and you will be made whole. Then go to Holy Communion, and the life-giving Body of the Saviour will be within you the seed of eternal life.