Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Reflection: Mark 5:21-43

Fourth Week in Ordinary Time – Mark 5:21-43

Today’s Gospel is all about healing. This reading opens as Jairus, an official of the synagogue, comes to Jesus and begs Him to heal his daughter. She was dying and Jairus was desperate. He begs Jesus to come and simply lay His hands on her. Jairus had faith that Jesus could and would heal his daughter. Immediately, Jesus agreed to go with Jairus. Many of the people who had been with Jesus followed them.

As they went on their way, a woman who had a long history of hemorrhages, had heard of Jesus and of His power to heal. This woman believed that if she simply could touch Jesus, even for a second, she would be made well. The woman quietly came up behind Jesus, reached out and touched His cloak. In that instant, the woman was healed!

Even though the woman had touched Jesus only for a second, Jesus immediately realized that someone had touched Him. The disciples tried to convince Jesus that it simply was the movement of the crowd. Yes, Jesus was in a great crowd of people, however He also knew that the touch He experienced simply was not someone in the crowd bumping into Him. Jesus had experienced the “touch of faith!”

Jesus stops and asks who had touched Him. The woman came forward and fell at His feet. She told Jesus that she was the one who had touched His cloak. Was she concerned that Jesus might reprimand her? Instead, Jesus quietly told her that it was her faith that saved her. Then He told her to go in peace. What a wonderful gift this woman received. She must have been filled with wonder, joy and gratitude.

The focus of the Gospel then returns to Jairus and his daughter. One of his servants comes to Jairus and tells him that his daughter has died. It was too late to save his child. In the midst of all this activity, a servant of Jairus came and told him that his daughter had died. What a horrible reality to comprehend. However, Jesus tells Jairus not to be afraid and then He follows Jairus to his house.

And we know the rest of the story: Jesus went into the house and sent everyone but the immediate family away. Then Jesus took the child’s hand and spoke two words to her: “Talitha koum.” Jesus quietly told the child to arise. And she did! Just imagine the joy, gratitude and amazement that filled that room.

What is the healing that you long for? Have you reached out to “touch” Jesus? Do you experience the presence and the healing power of Jesus? You may receive the specific healing you have asked for but perhaps the healing is happening in other ways. Jesus does hear and respond to our prayers! However, the response may not become clear to us until later.

The challenge for us is to continue to trust Jesus even when He seems silent or when nothing seems to be happening. Do we give up? Or do we continue to ask and pray to the One who will give us what we need, even if it may not be the answer we hoped for? Perhaps, the question is: do I truly trust Jesus and His love and care for me? It may not be manifested in the way I would prefer, but do we trust that Jesus is with us and is gracing us with what we truly need? Today let us pray for one another that we truly will trust Jesus in all the circumstances of our lives (or at least try to)!

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