The gospel lesson for Sunday November 5, 2023, which demonstrates the power of faith in the story of Jairus’ daughter and the woman who touched Jesus’ garment. One of the most memorable exhortations in the Bible is, “Believe and you will live! Seek the Lord and you will find your truth!”
We are hearing more and more that people are turning away from God and the Church, primarily because they think they are not good enough. Often they feel they must reach a certain standard of spirituality or a plateau of visible piety before they can honestly go to Church and direct themselves to God. I don’t necessarily believe this to be true, for no one is good enough to stand before God and make claims of self worth. But everyone is precious to God and can come before Him by faith – faith in His Word that He loves us and that He is ready to fulfill our needs as a caring Father. By the power of faith we can seek the Lord and find true life in Him. St. Simeon the New Theologian teaches us that there is no obstacle to faith but as soon as we wish it and decide in our heart straightway we believe. Everyone can exercise the gift of faith. When we do this, then the gift of faith through God’s grace becomes an amazing power that strengthens and renews our life and the lives of those around us.
We as Orthodox Christians should strive to help those around us who feel that they are not good enough to exercise the gift of faith in God. It often only takes a kind word of encouragement to help someone overcome their hesitancy and to experience the grace of the Holy Spirit. That’s our calling as Christians to encourage people to reach for Jesus in their lives, to embrace Him in their hearts, freeing themselves of the feeling of unworthiness.
We are, by our own faith, capable of setting an example for people we love to follow. Let us strive to share Jesus Christ with others and bring the disenchanted into the Light of His Wisdom!