Gospel Reflection July 1 – Deacon Paul

Sunday, July 1

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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 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.

There are some experiences in our life where it may take us to the very edge of our ability to cope any longer. It may take a while, but in situations like this, the stress that one can feel can easily push us beyond the limits of what we believe we can endure. Well, the lesson from our Gospel today presents us with a couple of people who have reached the end of their respective “ropes.” We hear of a father whose daughter was dying and we hear of a woman whose life had been almost literally consumed by her illness.

What message can we draw from our Gospel today? The story of the hemorrhaging woman and Jairus’ daughter underscores God’s power to do what is humanly impossible for one who believes. Faith is the means by which we draw healing power from God and overcome all the life and death diminishing forces in our personal lives. So, I ask you to ponder this today, how do you need to be touched by God? Who might need your touch today?

The Lord Jesus brings life to the dead, cleanliness to the unclean, healing to the sick. Through salvation, He brings us to life and holiness. His intent is to reverse the law of sin and death and to give us instead holiness and life. When life brings something so painful, so devastating that it feels like you’ve gone beyond what you can humanly endure, turn to your relationship with Jesus and remember His words to Jairus today, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”

Deacon Paul Zemanek