An encounter with Jesus is important, but it’s difficult to wrap our head around such an abstract concept. Fr. Mark-Mary suggests we read the story found in Mark 5:21-34 about the hemorrhaging woman, to help us understand what an encounter with Jesus really is.
This woman was an outcast in society. She was considered unclean, and she lived this way for twelve years. Friends she might have known her whole life may have looked at her with eyes of caution. Misled religious leaders may have looked at her with judgment. Doctors may have looked at her with the eyes of despair. Family members may have started to look past her.
Because of all these lies, she probably started thinking of herself as unwanted, a burden, a hopeless cause. But then she hears about Jesus and goes to find him. When she does, she touches his tassel. When Jesus notices that he was touched, the woman apologizes. But Jesus doesn’t chastise her. Instead, his eyes say, “You are known, good, and loved.” He speaks truth to her and calls her daughter.
This is an encounter with Jesus. It reminds us and convicts us of our identity. This is the essence of prayer and reading Scripture. Next time you pray or read Scripture or both, look into Jesus’ face as this woman did, and you will understand how powerful an encounter with Jesus can be.
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Meet Fr. Mark-Mary
Father Mark-Mary was ordained as a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal (CFR) in 2018 and lives at a friary in the Bronx.
The mission of the CFRs is to wholeheartedly embrace Jesus through fidelity to the Church and her Sacraments. Paired with their commitment to prayer, contemplation, and study of Sacred Scripture, the CFRs serve those around them, especially the poor, in the footsteps of Christ.
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