Tales have been recounted about famous people who showed predilection for the simple and the poor around them. In a documentary, the narrator recalled how in entering a banquet hall, Queen Elizabeth of England gravitated towards the waiter, called him by name, and asked about  his family.

In the gospel today, Jesus stands out as the paradigm of all true lovers. Yes, Jesus loved all the people he met. But with a love of preference he love those who were weakest, poorest, helpless, and hopeless. Not only did he seek them out. When these people ran after him, sought him, implored and begged something of him, Jesus treated them with utmost respect, overflowing love, and divine favor.

This cannot be more illustrated than in today’s gospel. A dying young woman was brought to Jesus’ attention. Jesus readily embarked on his way to the girl’s house, with not a hint of hesitation. In that journey, a suffering woman, whom the doctors gave up as a hopeless case, touched Jesus’ cloak. Why she did this invites many guesses. Maybe she was embarrassed to present herself to Jesus in her situation; or afraid that she would be judged in any way; or too poor and insignificant to assume she merited any attention from the Master. The stealthy way she secured her healing is proof enough she did not belong to the center. She lived in the margins.

And that was where Jesus lived too! That was where his heart resided too! Jesus preferred the margins so that he could meet people face to face, talk to them as persons, treat them as precious, and touch them with perfect love. Uneasy at the center, Jesus was truly at home where the insignificant, abandoned, neglected and outcast were.

At times we feel that we cannot approach the Lord because we are unworthy. And why not? “I am a sinner!” “I broke God’s law.” “I am not frequent at church.” “I walked away from my faith years ago.” “I am unwanted by my family or community.” “Who will want to meet me, talk to me, help me and heal me?”

The good news for you, for us is this: Jesus does! He is drawn to us the more unworthy we think we are. That is why, do not be afraid to walk up to him and touch him, even in the secret of your heart. 

He knows it is you. He cares. He loves… you!