Word of the Month

Touching the hem of the garment

June 2009

During the time of the Lord Jesus’ activity on earth, He would often wander through the villages and towns. So it was that He and His disciples came to the Sea of Galilee on one occasion. By this time, word had spread that He had healed people of various diseases and disorders. When the people realised who this was, they sent for the sick in the surrounding country and brought them to the Lord. The sick implored the Son of God that they might only touch the hem of His garment, and the Bible relates that all who touched His garment were healed (cf. Matthew 14: 35–36).

The events of that time revolved around physical ailments. Here we are going to focus on spiritual sicknesses and those that affect our immortal souls. There are some who cannot believe: they do not believe that God sent His Son to earth for the redemption of mankind, they do not believe in the redemptive power of the sacrifice of Christ or the mission of the Apostles of Jesus Christ.

Others have no peace in their hearts, because fear, need, and concerns define their daily lives. Others in turn are concerned about their future. They have lost hope, and feel no love in their hearts because the promise of the return of God’s Son has faded far into the distance for them. They no longer expect His imminent return.

All who want to be healed of such illnesses are counselled to touch the hem of the garment of Jesus Christ! Then you will find healing and relief.

How can we possibly touch the hem of His garment? Spiritually speaking it is possible. We have the gift of prayer at our disposal. If we have a longing to be liberated from these infirmities of the soul, then let us bend our knees and pray. If our faith needs to be strengthened, why don’t we pray for it and so touch the hem of the Lord’s garment? Then His power and strength will flow into our hearts, we will feel that God is with us, and we will be filled with peace and joy. In this manner we will gain new hope, and will be filled with love. Our prayers are complemented by the divine services, where the gospel is proclaimed and Holy Communion is celebrated. The house visits from our Priest will also help us touch the hem of our Redeemer’s garment: praying together opens new doors! When we involve ourselves in the congregation, this likewise supports our efforts to touch the garment of the Lord.

This healing of our spiritual sicknesses and the alleviation of the infirmities of our immortal souls are essential, for we are heading toward the goal of our faith. In order to reach this goal we need to maintain a strong faith, a firm hope, and steadfast love. After all, we want to be worthy when the Lord returns, so that He can take us unto Himself and so that we can be with Him for all eternity.

That is our goal, and it is simply wonderful that we all have the same goal – not just any goal, not several goals. For this reason let us strive toward this goal and touch the hem of the Son of God’s garment today, so that we may receive help for the infirmities of our souls and so that we can be filled with peace and joy.

(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)