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Homily for 11/30/08 - P24 - Who touched me

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  • Fr David Moser
    Luke 8:41-56 “Who touched me?” When pressed about by a great crowd, suddenly our Lord stopped and asked, “Who touched me?” What a question this was for
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 30, 2008
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      Luke 8:41-56

      “Who touched me?” When pressed about by a great crowd, suddenly our Lord
      stopped and asked, “Who touched me?” What a question this was for
      certainly many people had touched him in the press of the crowd. There
      is always some jostling and pushing and moving so that in the midst of a
      crowd it is remarkable if one is not touched. And yet our Lord persisted
      in his query, “Who touched me?”

      This touch that He felt was not the expected bump or incidental push –
      but rather it was a touch that was filled with faith, with complete
      trust and hope in the power of God. This was the touch of a woman who
      suffered from a chronic sickness, who had tried every possible cure and
      who had spent all of her resources on doctors and medicines and other
      cures to no avail. Her only hope was in the miraculous healing power of
      God. She knew that Jesus was a man of God, she knew that he had healed
      others, she knew that from Him the grace of God flowed freely to all.
      And so she sought Him out, she sought for the One from whom the power of
      God emanated, she came to the only one who could give her access to her
      hope, that is to God Himself. No doctor could bring to her the healing
      power of God, only this man, Jesus, could bring her into the presence of
      God who was now her only hope. With such faith, she reached out from the
      midst of the crowd and touched Jesus. She only touched the hem of his
      robe, she only brushed His tunic. She knew that this would be enough –
      even this slight touch would be sufficient for her healing. This faith
      was what set her touch, as brief and slight as it was, apart from all
      the other touches of the crowd.

      Because of her faith she reached out to touch Jesus not only with her
      hand but also with her heart. Spiritually she extended herself to
      receive from Christ the grace of God that flowed from Him. Her heart was
      open and ready to receive from God whatever He might give to her. The
      rest of the crowd, though they might have touched Christ with the body,
      did not touch Him with the heart, with the heart open and ready to
      receive from Him the gifts of grace. Their touches did not impact Him,
      their touches did not result in healing, their touches were not even
      felt. It was only the touch of faith, the touch of the heart open and
      ready to receive Him, the touch of hope in Him alone that our Lord felt.

      We are constantly in the presence of God – He is with us at all times
      and in all places. Sometimes we even forget that we are in the presence
      of God and our awareness of Him subsides. We bump and jostle up against
      Him in our daily lives and yet we never really touch Him. Our faith is
      too often dormant or neglected. We live only in the material, physical
      world and do not reach out in faith in order to touch God who is with
      us. Because of this we often do not experience the presence of God, we
      do not receive the blessings of grace that He pours out on us
      unceasingly. We are blind and deaf to His abundant mercies because the
      heart lies cold, without the fire of faith and we see only the world.

      But if we awaken our faith, if we nurture in ourselves the constant
      awareness of God’s presence with us. If we stoke the fire of faith and
      warm the heart with prayer, then we are able to reach out and touch God
      with faith, as did the woman in the Gospel. We can light this fire of
      faith in the heart by prayer. Prayer is the breath of the spirit which
      breathes upon the spark of faith in the heart, gently blowing on the
      coals of the heart so that the spark ignites and spreads through the
      coal. The breath of prayer fans the flame of faith so that it engulfs
      the whole heart. The whole person is aflame with faith, fanned by our
      prayers. Thus the first thing that we must do in order to reach out with
      faith is to pray. Not only should we pray once or twice a day in the
      morning or the evening or at meals; not only should we pray only at the
      services. We should pray constantly with simple prayer always on our
      hearts and our lips. This simple prayer gently fans the spark of faith
      into flame. The simplest of prayers that we should use is that of the
      name of our Lord Jesus Christ coupled with the prayer of the publican.
      If this simple prayer – “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.”
      – is on our lips constantly throughout the day, it will be that gentle
      breeze fanning the flame of faith.

      This prayer also reminds us that God is with us constantly. Every
      situation becomes filled with prayer and so in every place and every
      situation we see God with us. Our prayer works to make us constantly
      aware of God’s presence with us. In everything our prayer enlivens the
      heart enabling us to reach out in faith and touch God and to receive
      from Him the grace that heals us and makes us whole.

      God is with us and we touch Him constantly in our lives. Too often we
      touch Him without faith or even without awareness. The spark of faith in
      the heart must be fanned into flame by the gentle breeze of constant and
      simple prayer. With this heart warmed and opened by faith we then reach
      out and touch God and receive from Him all the blessings of grace that
      He constantly pours out upon us. My brothers and sisters, pray
      constantly, calling out “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” And let
      your awareness of the presence of God with you brought about by this
      prayer be the means by which your reach out to Him in faith and are healed.

      --
      Archpriest David Moser
      St Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church (ROCOR)
      Homilies: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/propoved/
      Website: http://stseraphimboise.org
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