Via Media

Via Media


I liked this, from Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Pontifical Household, on this Sunday’s Gospel passage:

The Gospel is Mark 5:21-43, a rapid-fire succession of encounters and miracles. Fr. Cantalamessa addresses the historicity of the account (he’s for it) and then relates the final story in the passage – the raising of the synagogue official’s daughter – to the inner life of many young people:

There is not only the death of the body but also the death of the heart.

Death of the heart exists when one lives in anxiety, discouragement and chronic sadness. Jesus’ words "Talitha koum," Little girl, arise, are not addressed only to dead boys and girls, but also to living boys and girls.


How sad it is to see young people … sad. And there are very many around us. Sadness, pessimism, the desire not to live, are always bad things, but when one sees or hears young people express them, the heart is even more oppressed.

In this connection, Jesus also continues today to resurrect dead boys and girls. He does so with his word, and also by sending them his disciples who, in his name, and with his very love, repeat to today’s young people that cry of his: "Talitha koum," youth, arise! Live again!

What a beautiful, simple homily for young people to hear this weekend…or any of us!

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Gerard E.

posted July 3, 2006 at 1:10 pm

Our homilist- whose daytime job is presiding over the community of teaching priests at a local boys’ high school- had an interesting spin on this reading. He observed that the greater miracle was that of the woman healed of her 12-year condition. In that she had been suffering with her ailment at approximately the same length of time as the child had been living. Compared it to the longterm spiritual ailments we carry for years- the unresolved grudges, unforgiven sins, areas of darkness that we drag day after day after day. Food for thought.

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posted July 3, 2006 at 5:06 pm

Yes. Thank you for sharing. I love this humble Franciscan. I especially needed to hear this message of his, as I frequently struggle against despair myself — and I’m not young but middle-aged. Have never seriously planned ending it, and never would carry out such a thing, but I do find myself fantasizing about an early and quick demise more times than I, as a good Catholic, would like to admit (and have admitted, in Confession). I suspect I’m not alone in this.

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