Tuesday, 26 June 2018


Christ’s Response to Two Desperate People

In today’s Gospel 2 incidents are inter-twined. These involve an official and a woman, both in need of Christ’s help.   While on the way to assist one, He’s interrupted by the other.   That’s very typical of life!    We start to carry out our plans and get diverted by someone making unexpected demands on us –the phone rings, your child has a fall and hurts himself.   We can either resent and ignore the interruption, or we can follow Christ’s example and use it as an opportunity for doing further good.   He made time to speak to the sick woman, rather than dismiss her, because he was too busy to attend to her needs.
Today’s Gospel is about 2 people in desperate need.   Both appeal to Jesus for help.  Their faith in him is remarkable, especially the official’s.   Even though his young daughter was on the point of death he believed Jesus could save her.  He showed amazing trust in Christ’s power over life and death!

Next there’s the woman who had been suffered from bleeding for 12 years.   Her ailment would have rendered her ritually unclean and excluded her from the community.  But so great was her faith in Jesus she believed that she would be cured simply by touching His garments, without her even having to ask Him to cure her.   Even though she was cured by touching His garments Jesus had time to stop and speak to her, and address her as ‘daughter.’    He always has time for each one of us.  He recognised the greatness of her faith in Him, which had led to His healing her.
We now come to the climax of this drama.   When Jesus reached the home of Jairus’ dying girl he was told that He was too late.  She had already died; the official mourners were already playing their instruments.  Dismissing them, He said that the girl slept and was not dead.  Naturally, that caused great derision because the girl was certainly dead, and Jesus seemed to be very insensitive to their grief.   But since Jesus intended to restore her life, after she’d been dead for only a short while, her condition was more like sleep than death.  In John’s Gospel Jesus uses the same language of Lazarus, who was already dead and buried.  But, knowing that He would soon restore both the girl and Lazarus to life, their deaths seemed more like sleep.  Taking the girl’s hand, He commanded her to get up, saying, “Little girl arise.”  In that simple gesture Jesus, the source of life, grasped death and was triumphant. That foreshadowed His own victory over death, through His crucifixion and resurrection.  As she walked about Jesus told her parents to give her something to eat.  That was the gesture Jesus would use to show He had truly risen from the dead.

Today’s Gospel shows us, firstly, that by curing the sick woman Jesus had come to heal us damaged people and give us the fullness of life, which would finally be achieved when we are raised to glory in the resurrection of the body.  This particular miraculous cure shows that He has come to break down the barriers which isolate people and enable them to join the community.
But in today’s Gospel Jesus proved that not only did He have power to cure the sick, but could even raise the girl to life.  He is master of life and death and will raise us bodily from the grave to share in the glory of His resurrection.
But we must share in the wonderful faith of the two people in today’s Gospel.  Against human logic they believed in Jesus and turned to Him.  One of them, Jairus, gives us a great example of the power of prayer for ourselves and for others, while the sick woman shows the importance of reaching out to Jesus, even when we can’t put our thoughts and longing into words.  Jesus will reward such faith with the fullness of life. 

Isidore O.P.

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