THE FOUR Fs: A HOMILY ON THE MEMORIAL OF ST. AGATHA
I was listening to Fr. Al Lauer, and he gives for Fs which we need to be aware of when dealing with difficult situations in life. But before that, it is important for me to name the four major evils which we face on earth. The first is physical sickness, as we see the little girl was sick in our gospel today and her father is asking Jesus to come cure her. We also see a woman who has suffered the flow of blood for 12 years. The second is moral sickness, which has to do with the sins we struggle with. Our first reading tells us about sin which hinders us. It speaks of the sin that clings so easily and it ended by telling us that in our struggle against sin, we have not yet had to fight to the point of death, like St. Agatha did. The third is emotional sickness, which has to do with the many things that break our hearts in life, especially the death of a loved one and the betrayal of false friends. In the gospel, the girl had died and the people were crying. The fourth is spiritual sickness which has to do with the many ways in which the devil torments us, as we have seen in recent readings.
Now we come to the four Fs. The first one is our Feelings. Whatever we are going through is one thing, and however we feel about it is another thing. Fr. Al Lauer tells us that we should not ignore our feelings, because our feelings always indicates something. However, he tells us not to obey everything our feelings tell us. Whenever we have a problem, our feelings can tell us what to do, but we need to be careful about it, because our feelings can lead us astray sometimes. There are also times when our feelings tell us the right thing to do. Some people have committed suicide because that is what they felt like doing in the face of difficulty. Some people give up, like the people in the Gospel who tell the master not to trouble Jesus, when they heard that the girl is already dead.
But they were wrong. They were misled by the next F which is Facts. The facts can say one thing, and it is important not to ignore the facts. The fact could be that medically speaking, this woman’s sickness is incurable. The other fact is that, medically speaking, this girl is dead and medically speaking, a dead person can no longer come back to life. But it is not all about the facts. As much as we respect the facts, we should not forget the next F, which is Faith. This woman has faith as well as the man in the Gospel. Jesus tells them that the girl was only sleeping. Many people had touched Jesus, but they did not touch Him in faith. And He tells the woman that her faith has healed her.
So, let us not yield to satan’s F of Fear, which he uses to discourage us. Let us like St. Agatha and all he ancestors of our faith have courage, faith and hope, knowing that no matter what the Facts are, the one who lives by faith will never be disappointed. Of all the four Fs, Faith is the most important. Feelings and Facts can lead us to Fear, but it led the two people in our gospel to Faith. Our feelings, the facts, our fears, all these should not be ignored, but a good christian knows about another ‘F’ and it is not the so-called ‘F’ word which many people use. Do not be afraid. Touch Him in the Eucharist, a touch of faith. Ma se beru.