Fr Hugh’s Homily for Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The film ‘Fatherland’ is not a romcom, but a sort of tragi-comedy in that the wife of Kevin Hart, the American comedian, who is the central character, dies giving birth to their child and then he is left looking after the baby. At one point in desperation he bursts into a mother and baby meeting (and they do not want him there as a man), and begs someone to tell him how to get the baby to stop crying. ‘Skin to skin’ is the answer, ‘she needs to feel you with her.’ So we see him next in the office with no shirt and the baby in a sling. Skin to skin is important to Jesus too. Touch is vital to his healing ministry. Making contact. (And after this year we know how important it is.) For most of us, even in ordinary times, we are pretty particular as to who we touch. Even in church people have been known to back away from people at the ‘sign of peace’ not sure they want to touch them. But touch often means acceptance. So in today’s gospel we have two very different characters coming before Jesus both of whom he would be very wary of touching. ….