13th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Mark 5:21-43.
Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “I’m spiritual, not religious.” Some people say this to defend why they don’t need to go to church, or to describe why they believe in God but do not practice this belief in an organized religion.
There is also the reality of “I’m religious, but I’m not spiritual.” No one says this, except in their actions. This happens when people go to church, but they participate at a superficial level. There is no openness to the presence and action of God, and so there is no transformation.
Today in the Gospel we hear an amazing lesson about Jesus healing two different people. The circumstances are equally amazing — it is a very crowded situation and it would be easy to be distracted.
But Jesus acts with calm and a deep awareness. In one moment we hear that “Jesus was immediately aware” of someone touching him. But it is more likely that Jesus was aware throughout the entire story.
Awareness is a sacred faculty that we have all been given. It is the entry point for so many imporant aspects of our lives, including our spiritual lives.
Jesus shows us how to be “religious about being spiritual.” When we are disciplined about cultivating an awareness of the presence of God in our lives, good things happen. We have more inner space to deal with the distractions of life. We do not simply react, we can respond. We can see things clearly, act more effectively.
It is time to be more religious about being spiritual.