Reaching for Jesus

By Rev. Warren Dungen, St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church Kamsack

            So when was the last time you had to really “reach” for Jesus? I mean you personally, really stretching out to touch, to extend out to Him, in any sense?

            I was recently reading the gospel of Luke 8:41-56, the passage of the healing of the hemorrhaging woman and the daughter of Jairus. Here I was reminded of our need to “reach out” for Jesus, especially when we are seized with fear, loneliness, pain, or uncertainty. When we are doing great and all is well, we rarely see the need to do much reaching. However, when we are struggling and times become tough, this is when we are open to the most reaching.

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            Reaching requires us to make an effort and actually stretch out beyond ourselves.

Sometimes we barely have the energy to do it, or we are bound so tightly in fear and left feeling helpless, but this is a time when are in most need of help. Much like someone who is crippled by depression, who needs to uncurl from the ball and security of the blankets of their bed, it is very difficult to reach for the help we so desperately need.

It is in reaching out, in faith, where we find hope to overcome all that which has seized us from truly living and being free, to be the best version of ourselves, or as God has intended us to be.

You see, in a perfect faith there is no fear, only trust. Those who have reached out to Jesus have encountered Him and were never left hanging. So too, with the hemorrhaging woman and Jairus, they advanced themselves towards Jesus. Jesus did not force Himself upon them, rather, He welcomes those who seek Him out, and desire Him to come forward. In each case, He is right there waiting – waiting to give us exactly what we need in the moment. In most cases, it’s healing (even if we don’t see it as that). Yet, it seems the more we fear, the less we truly believe in the very love God has for us. This love is free of all obstacles and barriers, rather, far from it.

Coming to faith, for many, is not a quick and instant thing. Often, we must make a journey full of life experience, all bringing us to a desire and conviction for God. Something or someone often sparks this (divine) desire. Faith is not solely a personal experience, but always involving another. Faith is both private and corporate. Our faith was passed onto us through others, and Christ is encountered also through others. God has chosen to work and move through the hands, lips, and lives of so many others within our community. Some, we will need to ask, accept, or seek out, and others just seem to be there at the perfect time. Nonetheless, they are always near at hand, as is the Lord.

If you are struggling with fear, loneliness, pain or uncertainty, use the faith that is within you to reach out to Jesus, asking Him to reach back and deliver you or heal you. You will not be left hanging. You will be met with perfect love. If you see anyone in this condition, accept his or her reach and accept to be the instrument of God. Either way, the reach is always met.