As He went, the people pressed round Him. And a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years and had spent all her living upon physicians and could not be healed by any one, came up behind Him, and touched the fringe of His garment; and immediately her flow of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched Me?”
When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the multitudes surround You and press upon You!”
But Jesus said, “Some one touched Me; for I perceive that power has gone forth from Me.”
And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before Him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
From a reflection by Saint Manuel González García (excerpted from the book “The Bishop of the Abandoned Tabernacle” by Victoria Schneider):
She thought: How I wish to talk to Him, to hold His hands working wonders, to kiss His blessed feet! If I could just touch Him! But He is so great, so pure, so busy, so sought after by the crowd, that I feel so insignificant and weak and my sickness so shameful. If I could touch at least the fringe of His garment, maybe I would be healed!
Feeling timid, yet with confidence, the woman mingled in with the crowd that would hardly let Jesus walk. She came up behind Him and touched the tassel of His cloak, first with her hands, and then perhaps with her lips…. The one who was seeking health for her body arose healed in both body and soul. I invite you now to meditate on this story. I draw some teachings from this meditation for the people who spend time before the tabernacle.
The first is that it is not enough to be before the tabernacle to receive that power which comes forth from Him and to be filled with it. Many were near the Master who were not healed, neither in their bodies nor in their souls. The second teaching is that in order to obtain the power that comes forth from the tabernacle, one must touch and know how to touch the Heart of Jesus.
The disciples, without realizing it, have given the right name to what many who walk with Jesus do to Him: “The multitudes surround You and press upon You” (Luke 8:45). To press upon Jesus! My God! How frightened I feel thinking on those words! How frightful and how sad to think that sometimes the crowds that fill Your temples and even draw near to Your tabernacles are imitating the crowds of the Gospel; they are pressing upon You!
How sad it is to think that many Holy Communions are oppressions. Yes, suffocating oppressions caused by seeing so much lack of Christian spirit and excess of worldly spirit. The oppressions of the crowds come to mind when I see around Your tabernacles Christian women immodestly dressed, and Christians talking and laughing in the temple. They will say later on that they were with You, but really they were pressing in on You.
On the other hand, how few are the ones who know how to touch You and therefore receive Your power. St. Ambrose said that we touch Christ with our faith, although not with a faith that is satisfied with just praying the Creed. Rather, it must be with the faith of the woman with the incurable disease, which begins with her humility in considering herself unworthy, of not having the right to be in front of the Master, and ends in the firm trust of being healed by merely touching the most insignificant part of Him, the fringe of His garment.
Living faith! This is what touches Christ, this is what touches His Heart. If we will go to the tabernacle with a living faith, we will be submerged in that sea of light, of love, of life, that comes forth from His Heart. All our ailments will be healed! We will obtain much more than what we ask for and wait for! But we lack the humility that is fearful of oneself and the trust that hopes for everything from Him. We go to the tabernacles so full of ourselves that it is not surprising that we will return empty of Him.
“[The Eucharist] is the greatest gift in the order of grace and of sacrament that the divine Spouse has offered and unceasingly offers to His spouse. And precisely because it is such a gift, all of us should in a spirit of profound faith let ourselves be guided by a sense of truly Christian responsibility. A gift obliges us ever more profoundly because it speaks to us not so much with the force of a strict right as with the force of personal confidence, and thus—without legal obligations—it calls for trust and gratitude. The Eucharist is just such a gift and such a possession. We should remain faithful in every detail to what it expresses in itself and to what it asks of us, namely, thanksgiving.”–Saint John Paul II