13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
June 27, 2021
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.








O God, who through the grace of adoption
chose us to be children of light,
grant, we pray,
that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error
but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading Wis 1:13-15; 2:23-24

God did not make death,
    nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.
For he fashioned all things that they might have being;
    and the creatures of the world are wholesome,
and there is not a destructive drug among them
    nor any domain of the netherworld on earth,
    for justice is undying.
For God formed man to be imperishable;
    the image of his own nature he made him.
But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world,
    and they who belong to his company experience it.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 20:2,2,5-6,11,12,13

R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
    and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
    you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.

Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
    a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
    but with the dawn, rejoicing.

Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
    O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
    O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.

Second Reading 2 Cor 8:7,9,13-15

Brothers and sisters:
As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse,
knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you,
may you excel in this gracious act also.

For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, 
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
Not that others should have relief while you are burdened,
but that as a matter of equality
your abundance at the present time should supply their needs,
so that their abundance may also supply your needs,
that there may be equality.
As it is written:
    Whoever had much did not have more,
        and whoever had little did not have less.

Alleluia Cf. 2 Tm 1:10

Gospel Mk 5:21-24,35b-43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat
to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. 
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
“My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him,
and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.

While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said,
“Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” 
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
“Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child’s father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,”
which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.

Reflection Questions

  1. What might be lying dormant within you?
  2. Who has spoken words to you that have awakened new life?
  3. Is fear limiting your faith?                                                                                                       

Catena Nova

Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us.  Let us become God’s for His sake, since He for ours became Man. He assumed the worse that He might give us the better; He became poor that we through His poverty might be rich; He took upon Him the form of a servant that we might receive back our liberty; He came down that we might be exalted; He was tempted that we might conquer; He was dishonored that He might glorify us; He died that He might save us; He ascended that He might draw to Himself us, who were lying low in the Fall of sin. Let us give all, offer all, to Him Who gave Himself a Ransom and a Reconciliation for us.  But one can give nothing like oneself, understanding the Mystery, and becoming for His sake all that He became for ours (St. Gregory Nazianzen).

Every gospel reading, beloved, is most helpful both for our present life and for the attainment of the life to come. Today’s reading, however, sums up the whole of our hope, banishing all grounds for despair.... Here is the beginning of today’s reading: An official came to Jesus and did homage, saying: “Lord, my little daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and she will live....” What he means is that the warmth of life still remains, there are still indications that her soul has not departed, her spirit is still in this world, the head of the house still has a daughter, the underworld is still unaware of her death. Come quickly and hold back the departing soul! In his ignorance the man assumed that Christ would not be able to raise his daughter unless he actually laid his hand on her. So when Christ reached the house and saw the mourners lamenting as though the girl were dead, he declared that she was not dead but sleeping, in order to move their unbelieving minds to faith and convince them that one can rise from death more easily than from sleep.  “The girl is not dead,” he told them, “but asleep.” And indeed, for God death is nothing but sleep. He can restore life-giving warmth to limbs grown cold in death sooner than we can impart vigor to bodies sunk in slumber. Listen to the Apostle: “In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, the dead will rise.” He used an image because it was impossible to express the speed of the resurrection in words. How could he explain its swiftness verbally when divine power outstrips the very notion of swiftness? How could time enter the picture when an eternal gift is given outside of time? Time implies duration, but eternity excludes time (St. Peter Chrysologous).

“He took the child by the hand and said to her: ‘Talitha koum’, which means, ‘Little girl…arise.’”   “Since you have been born again, you are to be called ‘little girl’.   Little girl, arise for my sake – your healing does not come from you.”   “And immediately the little girl arose and walked around.”   May Jesus touch us, too and at once we shall walk.   We may well be paralysed, our deeds may be evil and we may be unable to walk, we may be lying on the bed of our sins… but if Jesus touches us, then we shall immediately be healed....“They were utterly astounded and he gave them strict orders that no one should know this.”   Do you see now why He put the people out when He was going to work a miracle? He ordered and not just ordered but strictly ordered, that no one should know of this.  He ordered the three apostles and He ordered the parents, too, that no one should know. Our Lord ordered them all but the little girl herself, she who had stood up, could not be silent. “And he said she should be given something to eat” – so that her resurrection might not be thought to be a ghostly apparition.  And He Himself, after His resurrection, ate fish and a piece of honeycomb (Lk 24:42)… Lord, I beseech you, touch our hands as we, too, lie prostrate.   Make us rise from our bed of sins and enable us to walk.   And when we have walked, make them give us something to eat.  We cannot eat when we are lying down- unless we are standing, we shall not be able to receive the Body of Christ (St. Jerome). 

In order to enrich us with true riches, Jesus Christ chose to be a poor man, as the Apostle writes, ‘For your sakes He became poor, that by His poverty ye might become rich.’ He chose to be poor in order to teach us by his example to despise earthly blessings; and thus to enrich us with heavenly blessings, which are infinitely more precious, and which last forever. Wherefore he declared that whoever did not renounce every species of attachment to this earth could not be his true disciple (St. Alphonsus Liguori).

In a passage from the opening chapters of the Book of Wisdom we are told that God doesn’t rejoice in the destruction of the living. The Gospels make this even clearer by showing us the tender and determined way Jesus went about restoring life and health under seemingly impossible circumstances.... We need to believe in the power of miracles. Notice that as soon as Jesus raised the little girl to life he told her parents to give her something to eat. He thought of her human needs. Notice too, that once he had raised the girl he wanted people to settle down and go on helping each other in their regular family life. Jesus was blessing our ordinary human existence. He was making it possible for [the little girl] to enjoy the normal joys of life. Recall what the Book of Wisdom tells us. God loves life, ordinary life, and wants the creatures of his world to be healthy and wholesome. To enjoy life we have to share, and Jesus shows us unexpected ways of doing that. A selfish person isn’t a happy one. Such a person lacks a quality that is part of “wholeness” and of belonging to the human family, as well as a particular family. This is essential to being one of God’s People. Don’t miss you opportunities to do this (Fr. Carroll Stuhlmueller).

We are so used to passing the collection plate in church that we easily overlook the importance of the collection Paul writes about in 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15 and elsewhere. The emotion and enthusiasm that gushes from Paul’s pen tells us that the collection was of the upmost importance to him. It behooves us to consider how important it was. Many times, Paul speaks about the joy of giving, not only with money (which Paul had in short supply) but in time and energy and concern for others... The joy Paul would have us take in giving is accentuated when we consider that Paul’s word for giving generously and joyfully is hilaritas. That is, we should give with hilarity.... Most important is the Christological dimension to the collection. Contributing with enthusiastic hilarity is modeled on Jesus who though he was rich, for our sakes became poor that we through his poverty could become rich (1 Cor. 8: 9).... This is a far cry from the billionaire who writes a few tax-deductible charity donations from the comfort of his or her mansion. We can’t compete with Christ in generosity but we can at least empty ourselves of what we do have for the sake of others (Abbot Andrew Marr).

The healing of Jairus’ daughter is worthy of particular attention (cf. Mk 5: 21-33). There is a father who is in a hurry: his daughter is ill and for this reason he asks for Jesus' help. The Master immediately accepts, but on their way home another healing occurs, and then the news comes that the girl has died. It seems to be the end, but instead Jesus says to the father: “Do not fear, only believe” (Mk 5:36). “Continue to have faith”: because it is faith that sustains prayer. And indeed, Jesus will awaken that child from the sleep of death. But for a time, Jairus had to walk in the dark, with only the flame of faith. Lord, give me faith! May my faith grow! Ask for this grace, to have faith. Jesus, in the Gospel, says that faith moves mountains. But, having real faith. Jesus, before the faith of His poor, of His people, is won over; He feels special tenderness, before that faith. And He listens (Pope Francis).


Sleeping Beauty

The child is not dead but asleep.  Within all of us dwell things, apparently dead, but really just lying dormant, awaiting the word to arouse them, Arise!  Sometimes those things asleep within us are forgotten truths about ourselves, or perhaps a hidden talent, a muted passion, a dream unfulfilled pushed down from awareness, often due to life circumstances beyond our control. Such things are never truly dead, though we may end up going through life as if they were and we become half-alive, partial selves, accompanied at time by a great deal of inner commotion, weeping and wailing, our soul mourning its loss.  And should someone tell us, Oh, they aren’t dead, only sleeping, we can expect ridicule since, after all, the dead cannot be raised. 

That someone, however, who reassures us, Do not be afraid; just have faith, is a life-saver, calling us to wholeness.  And whoever speaks with that voice is someone very willing to disregard the naysayers, those doubters telling us not to disturb the dead.  Such voices may well tell them to get out and come near us together with others who truly care for us. And they speak words to arouse us, our forgotten selves, younger by decades, and demand we get up from our slumber. After all, we are fashioned in such a way that we might have such fullness of being.

This fullness is what the Swiss analyst Carl Jung called “consciousness.” “Consciousness, he reminds us, “does not create itself -- it wells up from unknown depths. In childhood it awakens gradually, and all through life it wakes each morning out of the depths of sleep from an unconscious condition” (Collected Works 11:935). In other words, throughout our lives, we are meant to expand and grow beyond the limits life and circumstances impose and fulfill all the potential that lies within every human being, not to be submerged forever. 

I saw an interview this week with the apparent next mayor of Buffalo, India Walton, who won an upset victory in a primary challenge to the long-serving incumbent.  “Walton, born on Buffalo’s primarily Black East Side, became a full-time working mother at age 14 after dropping out of high school. She worked as a nurse in the Buffalo Public Schools and became involved in the local SEIU union before turning to community organizing work, founding an affordable housing group that rehabilitated vacant homes for low-income residents” (HuffPost;  June 23, 2021).  Apparently, she allowed herself very little “sleep” of the kind Jung means. 

By the way, isn’t that what brings us to church?  Why have we come here, if not to be challenged to such growth? Again Jung insists that, “No Christian is meant to sleep in a safe pew. . . a true Christian is not bedded upon roses and is not meant for peace and tranquility of mind but for war” (Letters, II, 242).  War against what?  Well, death of course, in all its manifestations for God did not make death (I).  And not only the death of our body, but even more the death of our soul.  And not just when we leave the confines of time and space, but in the here and now too.  

Of course, deathly sleep afflicts society as well as individuals.  We’ve heard a lot lately about “woke culture.”  For some, “woke” means being newly-aware of injustice in the land, the unhealed wounds of racism, preventing us from fulfilling this land’s potential.  For others, “woke” is just another form of racism in reverse.  For a while last week, when the U.S. Senate unanimously – yes, unanimously! – approved making Juneteenth a national holiday, I thought something had indeed awakened as if by a miracle.  While India Walton won a primary “in one of the country’s most segregated cities, which also claims the nation’s third-worst child poverty rate” (ibid.). Of course, at the same time, the red herring of “critical race theory” was dividing the “woke” from the “unwoke,” voting rights were being curtailed, and the Capitol insurrection was claimed to be just a bunch of energetic tourists. I sometimes I think Rip van Winkle slept less soundly.

But it’s not just race.  One can be woke about climate change or else in dire need of a wakeup call.  Woke about gun violence or in desperate need of an alarm clock.  Woke about the nuclear threat or left in suspended animation. Woke about income inequality such that whoever has much does not have more and whoever has little does not have less (cf. II) or else remain asleep at the commonweal. Why, by the end of the month we just might have a national awakening about UFOs!

In the end, though, it’s the grace of God we need, to raise us up and awaken us to Christ who in this Sacrament that we offer and receive fills us with life (cf. Prayer after Communion).  Who lives and reigns, forever and ever.  Amen.



Intercessions (Peter Scagnelli; Prayers for Sundays and Seasons)

Let us pray to God in whose image we are made and who delights in the wholeness of creation.

That in the face of death and evil, Christians may not fear but believe in the power and presence of Christ.

That threatened by the poison of war and terrorism, people of good will may seek peace and reconciliation.

That world leaders may work to achieve a balance in which nations with an abundance assist those who are in need.

That those suffering chronic illness or long-term disability may persevere in their struggle for wellness and in their faith in Christ.

That those whose lives are dedicated to the care of sick children may know that Jesus, the Divine Physician, goes with them in their labor.

That parents who have suffered the death of a child may find comfort in Christ’s promise of eternal life and consolation in the loving care of family and friends.

That the sick of our community may welcome the healing presence of Jesus in the visits of friends and in the Bread of the Eucharist.

That those who grieve over the loss of loved ones may be strengthened by the support of friends and the love of Christ.

That we whom Jesus has taken by the hand and lifted from the death of sin may find nourishment in the Eucharist we are given to eat.

That God who created us for incorruption may give the righteous who have died immortal life. 

God of the living, in whose image we have been formed  with imperishable life as our destiny, dispel from your people the fear of death and awaken within us the faith that saves. Bid us rise from the death of sin to take our place in the new creation. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen. (ICEL; 1998)

Interlude  (Margo)


Everything around me is dying
Everyone says I am dead
But my eyes are only closed
I cannot seem to get out of my bed
It's a tiny cramped room in my head
Is anyone calling for help?

Jesus came into my room
He grabbed my hand and said "Talitha Koum"
Talitha Koum
Talitha Koum

He told me not to be afraid
Believe in my name
You say
"I'm free I feel it in my body"
"I'm clean I feel it in my skin"
"I'm free I feel it in my body"
"I'm clean I feel it in my skin"

Jesus came into my room
He grabbed my hand and said "Talitha Koum"
Get up my child, you'll feast with me soon
Talitha Koum
Talitha Koum
Talitha Koum
Get up my child, you'll feast with me soon

Lord’s Prayer

We pray to delivered from evil in the words Jesus taught us....

Spiritual Communion

At Your feet, O my Jesus,
I prostrate myself and I offer You
repentance of my contrite heart,
which is humbled in its nothingness
and in Your holy presence.
I adore You in the Sacrament of Your love,
the ineffable Eucharist.
I desire to receive You 
into the poor dwelling that my heart offers You.
While waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion,
I wish to possess You in spirit.
Come to me, O my Jesus,
since I, for my part, am coming to You!
May Your love embrace my whole being in life and in death.
I believe in You,
I hope in You,
I love You. Amen.  (Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val)



Closing Hymn (Libera)


I will sing for you at the start of each day,

I'll sing forever, sing for you

In all things I do in the dawn of my life,

I'll sing forever, sing for you.

Shutting out night my life renewed,

Happy for love that is to come

Opening eyes I'll follow you

Glad to see, glad to be yours.

Echoing what you say,

Shining out what you are,

Out of dark, into your light.

I will sing for you in the light of each day

I'll sing forever, sing for you

In all things I do at the noon of my life,

I'll sing forever, sing for you.

I will sing for you at the end of each day,

I'll sing for ever, sing for you

In all things I do in the eve of my life,

I'll sing forever, sing for you.

I will sing for you each and every day,

I'll sing forever, sing for you

In all things I do to the end of my life

I'll sing forever, sing for you.