Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13
2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark.
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat
to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
“My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him,
and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.
There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to Jesus,
“You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?'”
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
While he was still speaking,
people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said,
“Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
“Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child’s father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,”
which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.
Good News Reflection: How to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment
Wouldn’t it be great if we could actually touch and feel the hem of Jesus’ clothing, like the woman in this Sunday’s Gospel reading? To be near enough to Jesus to be healed spiritually, physically, and emotionally. How can we, more than 2000 years after he ascended to heaven, get so close to him?
It is possible, and it’s exactly what Jesus wants. It comes from developing a better understanding of who Jesus really is and how much God really cares about us. The synagogue leader understood, which is why he could say: “Please, come lay your hands on my daughter that she may live.” He understood Jesus beyond what was in front of his eyes. He believed in the divine life of Jesus.
Knowing Jesus is to know divine life, which transforms our earthly life into something much more like his and then takes us to heaven. The first reading, remember, states clearly that death is not part of God’s plan. Jesus drives this point home by allowing the girl to die before he reaches her house. Certainly God could have kept her alive until he got there! But he wanted to show the world that he could restore life and that he has the power to rescue us from death.
If we fear death, we don’t recognize the nearness of Christ. We can touch the hem of his garment, but we don’t see it, and so we don’t believe it. In this case, we’re like the mourners that Jesus had to chase out of the house before working his miracle.
If we fear that our trials are leading to disastrous conclusions, we’ve forgotten how powerful Jesus is, and we’ve forgotten that he cares enough to rescue us. We need to move ourselves closer to Jesus. We have to press on through the crowd of distractions and doubts, with our eyes fixed only on Jesus and our hands reaching out to him in prayer.
If we fear that God doesn’t care enough to help us, we need to spend more time learning why Jesus gave up his life for us and why the Father sent him to us.
Questions for Personal Reflection:
Do you believe that Jesus wants to work miraculously in your life? How has the disbelief of the people around you infected your thinking and reduced your faith?
Questions for Community Faith Sharing:
Describe a miracle that you saw or experienced. How long did it take? What blessings occurred during the time of suffering? How was all of this an expression of God’s love?
Beloved Jesus: I praise and thank you for planting in me the seed of faith. Sometimes this faith is asleep. Awaken it, Lord, and make it grow. May my faith be able to deliver those miracles you plan for my life and for the lives of those brothers and sisters that you’ll place in my path. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica