JUST A SIMPLE TOUCH – MK 6:53-56
“Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered,
they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him
that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak;
and as many as touched it were healed.”
Jesus, just to touch the tassel of your cloak
people come from far and wide,
laying their aching bodies and their hearts
before your loving gaze, for grace and healing.
Is this situation any different than today’s?
There are still so many people, loved by you,
who are aching in flesh and spirit,
yearning for someone to understand,
to welcome, to shelter, and to embrace.
And so many do not know, Jesus,
of the power of love that lives in you,
of the mystery burning within your Heart.
You have come so close, yet they do not know,
and still seek for healing—or even simply relief—
in so many other places, unpromising.
Who can go to them, to reveal your presence,
who, through the tenderness of their love
can manifest in the darkness the light of grace,
through their welcoming vulnerability of heart
can awaken in other hearts vulnerability too?
For we ache, do we not,
with a deep inner wound, each one of us?
We ache with yearning for deep, abiding,
and unbreakable intimacy.
And yet we keep our hearts sheltered,
locked up in fear and insecurity.
Indeed, we prefer to live on the surface
far from the deep inner place, which,
though inestimably beautiful in your eyes,
is too much for us to bear in its intensity,
and we prefer, often, simply to take flight
into the superficial ease and numbness of the periphery.
But this only leaves the heart empty,
aching with a void which is made for more.
But if we would trustingly turn inward,
confronting in faith a deeper ache,
the ache of life planted as a seed in us,
pushing against the soil of the soul
yearning for the fullness of your embrace…
if we would do this, Jesus, we would find
that in a single moment we can touch
the tassel of your garment inside of us.
For who, in this world, my God,
does not yearn for a loving touch,
the presence of hearts communicating
through the medium of the flesh?
We need this, God—given through others,
our brothers and sisters in this world,
revealing, through their humanity
your own divinity which has wed itself to us.
But we need this, even more,
in the touch of your Sacred Flesh,
in the surging of your eternal love
that flows forth through our entire body
and thrills in hidden grace the inner heart,
from a simple touch of your garment.
But you give us so much, so much more than this,
for you give, not a garment’s touch,
but the most intimate interpenetration,
in which, in that Eucharistic Body and Blood,
you live in us, Jesus, and us in you,
deeper than any humans can live in one another,
but in a union that unites us all
within the beauty of your all-enveloping embrace.