Gospel text (Mark 6,53-56): Having crossed the lake, Jesus and his disciples came ashore at Gennesaret where they tied up the boat. As soon as they landed, people recognized Jesus and ran to spread the news throughout the countryside. Wherever He was they brought to him the sick lying on their mats. And wherever He went, to villages, towns or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplace and begged him to let them touch just the fringe of his cloak. And all who touched him were cured.
Comment: Fr. John Grieco (Chicago, Illinois)
"All who touched him were cured"
Today, in the Gospel we see the tremendous power of contact with Our Lord’s person: "They laid the sick in the marketplace and begged him to let them touch just the fringe of his cloak. And all who touched him were cured" (Mk 6,56). The slightest physical touch can work miracles for those who approach Christ with faith. His power to cure overflows from his loving heart and extends even to his garments. His ability and willingness to heal is both abundant and easily accessible.
This passage can help us reflect on how we receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. Do we do so with faith that this contact with Christ can work miracles our lives? More than merely touching "fringe of his cloak", we receive Christ’s very Body into our bodies. More than merely healing our physical infirmities, Communion heals our souls and grants them a share in God’s own life. St. Ignatius of Antioch thus calls the Eucharist, "the medicine of immortality, and the antidote to prevent us from dying, [which causes] that we should live forever in Jesus Christ".
Taking advantage of this “medicine of immortality” consists in being healed of whatever separates us from God and others. Being cured by Christ in the Eucharist thus entails overcoming our self-absorption. As Benedict XVI teaches, "Nourishing ourselves with Christ is the way to avoid becoming extraneous or indifferent to the fate of the brothers (…). A Eucharistic spirituality is the true antidote to the individualism and selfishness that often characterize daily life, and leads to the rediscovery of gratuity, of the centrality of relationships —starting with the family— with particular attention to healing the wounds of disrupted ones".
Just as those who were cured of their infirmities by touching his garments, we too can be cured of our egoism and our isolation from others by receiving Our Lord with faith.