The Gospel according to Mark (5:21-43)
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.
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 him,
“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.
In today’s Gospel, we read of two miraculous healings that Jesus performed. The root for both healings is faith. Jairus, the synagogue official, had faith that Jesus could heal his daughter, and Jesus re-emphasizes this when the daughter has died. The woman who approaches Jesus after suffering for twelve years with hemorrhages likewise seeks to touch Jesus, with faith in her heart that Jesus could heal her. The one characteristic that both Jairus and the woman had in common was their unshakable faith.
Twelve years ago this week, I was laid off from my job. I had been working in the technology business my entire career (more than 25 years by that point), and I had never faced such a situation before. I had been in the IT department at prior places, so I knew about that side and of shutting off of access. But, I did not understand in my heart what it meant to the one who was being let go. I was anguished in my heart, as I was the provider for my wife and our three sons, and now, I would not be able to serve in that role. It was such a challenge to my faith.
Thankfully, my family and especially my wife were very supportive of me. Our faith was the center of our relationship and I relied on it to get me through this very challenging circumstance. It wasn’t easy, as the search for a new job dragged on for months. But, as Linda would often tell me, “I believe that God has a plan and that you will find the right job, and we will be okay until then.” I trusted in those words and in God as those days went on. In the end, I did find a job, thanks to the help of a parishioner, and of many prayers I know were raised on my behalf. I can’t express how thankful I was for that!
The two recipients of the healings in today’s Gospel surely were in a similar position – how could they thank Jesus for His amazing gift of life and being restored? We don’t know, because it’s not recorded by Mark, but it’s safe to think that Jairus, his daughter, and the woman cured of the hemorrhages shared their good news about the man who healed them, and one hopes, it informed how they lived their lives from that point. For each of us who are children of God through faith, whether we are in a time of trial like Jairus or the woman in today’s story, or whether we are just doing our best to be good and faithful followers of Jesus, may we hold fast to that faith.
We give thanks for those blessings that God has given us, and we trust that the same God who created and loves us will help us in our time of need. Maybe we are the one who can be a blessing to another today? Let us be open to that if we are in a position to bless, so that another may feel that same love and healing that Jesus gave to Jairus’ daughter and the woman in today’s story. That’s our call every day as a child of God!
Action for the Day: Be open to God wanting to you use as a blessing in another’s life. Trust in that still small voice when it calls you to help, in whatever way you can. Share that blessing!
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