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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

‘Go to Jesus, He can help you’

020218 csw mainHUNTERSVILLE — Christ the King High School students welcomed Bishop Peter Jugis for Mass Jan. 30 for Catholic Schools Week.

Bishop Jugis addressed the students, faculty and families gathered for the Catholic Schools Week Mass during his homily, drawing from the Gospel of Mark 5:21-43, which highlights intercessory prayer and faith in God’s mercy.

Speaking about how Jairus, one of the synagogue officials, is a model of prayer for us, Bishop Jugis pointed out how Jairus came forward and asked Jesus to heal his daughter.

“How does he know that Jesus can do something for him?” Bishop Jugis asked. “The reason is that somehow He already spoken to the heart of Jairus and given him some grace, some initial faith, telling him, ‘Go to Jesus. He can help you. Go to Jesus.’”

Jairus responds to that faith that God has already given him, Bishop Jugis continued. “And just as the woman in the Gospel who suffered for years, how does she know to go to Jesus? God has already given her a gift of faith. God is already speaking to her somehow: ‘Go to Jesus. He is the one who can help you.’”

Bishop Jugis pointed out that both people in the Gospel respond to that inner prompting of grace.

“We see Jesus is very happy to respond to their requests for help,” he noted.

“Jesus says elsewhere in the Gospel to His disciples, ‘I will come to you and I will make my dwelling place with you.’ He has come to each one of you to make His dwelling place with you. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. He comes and spends His life with us, to be with us at every moment.”

Jesus “desires a relationship with you,” he said. “God desires a relationship with you. God desires a relationship with us so much that He’s already reaching out to us before we even know it. He is coming to us. He is reaching out to us.

“He has an eternal desire to be in relationship with you, for you to know Him and for you to love him. He’s happy to give you that grace.”

Looking out over the students, Bishop Jugis encouraged them, “Go to Jesus, He can help you. Isn’t it a wonderful sign of the covenant relationship between God and you, how He is acting interiorly in your heart?

“You all know it. You all experience it, if you take a moment to reflect how the Lord is with you, how He is speaking to you, prompting you and motivating you.”

He enjoined the students to “do what is right. Turn away from what is wrong. Love, don’t hate. Be reconciled, don’t continue to be at odds with others. All of these are promptings of God’s graces, and we can choose in faith whether we’ll follow that grace or if we have another agenda.”

He also encouraged them to pray for their families, for the sick, and for those who having difficulties – mentioning them by name to the Lord.

“Pray also for those who have hurt you, or from whom you are estranged. I assure you, anytime that you can actually start praying for someone who has hurt you or from whom you are estranged, whatever anger or animosity is in your heart starts to dissipate,” he said.

020218 CSW“It’s not worth living with animosity or anger, or whatever distance there may be. Prayer, coming before the Lord’s love, collapses the distance and makes you one with that person at least spiritually.”

“Pray for those whom you love. And then it’s in the Lord’s hands. He does what He wills. He always answers prayers in His way.”

At the end of Mass, Dr. Carl Semmler, principal of Christ the King High School, gave the bishop a spiritual bouquet, a gift bag filled with prayer cards from the students who had offered sacrifices and prayers for him in advance of his visit.
— SueAnn Howell, Senior reporter

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