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Thursday, January 20, 2011

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Pope St. Fabian
St. Sebastian

Hebrews 7:25—8:6
Psalm 40:7-10, 17
Mark 3:7-12

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"aye, there's the rub!"

"All who had afflictions kept pushing toward Him to touch Him." —Mark 3:10

A woman with a hemorrhage touched Jesus and was healed (Lk 8:43-44). To touch Jesus is "more excellent" than the touch of anything else in the universe (Heb 8:6). Because of this, people long for the touch of Jesus, whether or not they recognize this. They want Jesus to "rub off" on them.

People today long for the best experience of touching and being touched. Massages are very popular. Body lotions sell quickly. People also love the touch and feel of their pets, clothes, bedsheets, furniture, etc. In particular, sexual sin abounds, probably because people yearn for the perfect touch. Whether consciously or unconsciously, they seek to satisfy this longing for the touch of Jesus.

Even the touch of the best human relationships cannot substitute for the touch of Jesus. Jesus may touch us through our spouse, child, parent, friend, etc. However, we must recognize that it is Jesus for Whom we long. We must refuse to fall into the trap of seeking from any person or thing the comfort that only the touch of Jesus can give.

The touch par excellence is the touch of receiving Jesus in Holy Communion (Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass, #6). When we receive Jesus as the Eucharist, He reaches out and touches us (see Mk 7:33). Refuse to settle for less than the touch of Jesus. Every day, or as often as possible, keep moving toward Jesus to touch and be touched by Him in the Eucharist (Mk 3:10).

Prayer:  Jesus, be the Lord of my sense of touch.

Promise:  Jesus "is always able to save those who approach God through Him." —Heb 7:25

Praise:  St. Sebastian, who never gave up the fight, is the patron of athletes.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010

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