Carmelite Homilies are recorded by Fr. Gregory Houck, O, Carm., following the Cycle of Readings of the Common Lectionary. His preacher’s blog is found at: fathergreg.com
There’s a quotation from Saint Teresa of Avila that I’ve relied on when the going gets rough. She writes, “When you ask for something difficult you pay God a compliment.” I think that’s what describes what’s going on in today’s Gospel. There’s a lot going on. This man comes to say that his daughter has died, ‘Jesus, can you lay your hands on her and she will live?’ That’s a difficult one. And a woman with twelve years with a hemorrhage asks for healing. That’s a difficult one. Everything in today’s Gospel is difficult. And Jesus does them, showing that with God’s help and God’s grace these things can be done. Now what about the opposite though? I’ll extend Saint Teresa’s thought a little bit. What if God asks you or asks me for something difficult? Do we think ‘this is a burden’ or ‘this is a tragedy’ or ‘this is awful’ or can we say ‘thank you, God, for paying me that compliment’?