I Can Do This One Thing

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In the gospel of Mark, we hear of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue, who comes with great humility, falling at his feet and pleading for help.  This leader goes to the King of leaders and begs for help.  He also does something very unusual.  He asks Jesus not only to come but to lay his hands on his daughter.  He implies not just to cure here but to give her life, to purify her.  The laying on of hands is crucial for the sacraments of penance, confirmation, holy orders, anointing of the sick and it is what Peter and Paul did when they cured others

A woman bleeding for twelve years suddenly approaches Jesus.  Her affliction means that she is impure, unable to touch anyone, and she follows him from behind.  She goes where she does not belong and by her actions, we see that she is very resourceful.   She says, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be cured.”  She takes a huge risk since a woman who is bleeding is deemed impure and cannot touch anyone.  However, her faith helps her to leap beyond protocol to attempt something crazy!  What does she do?  She clings to God; she touches Jesus Christ!  Not even his flesh, only a tassel of his cloak.

And after she touches him and is cured Jesus turns to her and sees her; he calls her out of anonymity and begins a relationship with her.  He says, “Daughter, your faith has saved you!”  How wonderful!  He could have just let her go, but he turns around and sees her face to face.  He acts deliberately.   Jesus wants to see all of her, and all of you.  He does not just pass by but enters a new relationship with her.

Because of her ailment this woman seeks the Lord with all her strength.  This perhaps is why God allows sufferings so that we seek him.  The meaning of the verb ‘to save’ in the original language also means that she is different.  Her life is changed forever due to him.  The root of the verb also means to be made whole, to be intact.  To be restored to the way God made us.

After this encounter with this woman Jesus approaches the house of Jairus. The text says twice that Jesus enters the house and the room of this girl.   I think Mark is telling us that Jesus is not afraid to enter your death and mine, not just physical death but anything that kills us.  That is what Jesus does: he enters death to raise us up and bring us to himself.

Jesus takes her hand and says, “Little girl, I tell you get up.”  She got up at once and began to walk about.  A Christian believes that death is only a ‘falling asleep’ until the Lord awakens us.  What great signs these healing miracles are for us.  Jesus acts uniquely with each of us.  He knows our afflictions.  Don’t be afraid to reach out and touch him, and to let yourself be touched, and seen, by him.


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