Here is part of today’s Gospel, from St Matthew: ‘Behold, a woman who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment; for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I shall be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well’.

St John Chrysostom commented: ‘And, behold, it is said, a woman that had an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment. For she said within herself, If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole. Wherefore did she not approach Him boldly? She was ashamed on account of her affliction, accounting herself to be unclean.  … Therefore she lies hidden, and conceals herself. … secretly with faith she touched His garments. For she did not doubt, nor say in herself, Shall I indeed be delivered from the disease? Shall I indeed fail of deliverance? But confident of her health, she so approached Him. For she said, we read, in herself, If I may only touch His garment, I shall be whole. … What then does Christ? He suffers her not to be hid, but brings her into the midst, and makes her manifest for many purposes. … He brings her forward, and says, Daughter, be of good cheer, even as He had said also to the paralyzed person, Son, be of good cheer. Because in truth the woman was exceedingly alarmed; therefore He says, be of good cheer, and He calls her daughter; for her faith had made her a daughter. After that comes also her praise: Your faith has made you whole’.

‘Her faith had made her a daughter’. These words are true at the deepest level. May we heed them. It has been said that faith is like a muscle, and like a muscle, it must be used. May God bless you this day as you exercise your own faith, and may you be blessed in so doing.