Mark 5: 21-43
St. Alban’s June 27. 2021 service
What strikes me in reading this gospel is the absolute trust that the woman with the hemorrhage and Jarius show in Jesus. They have no doubt that he can heal the woman, and also Jairus’ daughter. The woman trusts that if she can just touch his cloak, she will be healed of her affliction. And Jairus pleads with Jesus in the assurance that if He lays his hands on his daughter, she will be made well, and live.
The depth of trust and faith that these two have is truly remarkable – and enviable. How often have we been called upon to “take a leap of faith”? And how often have I, and perhaps others, been found wanting in that leap? It takes enormous courage to open oneself to that depth of trust – and faith. How often do we tell ourselves that we “just can’t do it”, or that “it won’t matter what I say, do, or think”? How can we open ourselves to the work of the Spirit, and trust that the outcome will be what was meant to be – whether or not it was what we desired or expected? We will need to learn to be open to hearing the Spirit in our hearts, and listening intently to hear that voice over the clamor of everyday life. We can begin by committing ourselves to walking in the way of Jesus, through the good, easier times and the more challenging, harder times. This will require us to look into ourselves and identify those thoughts and actions that separate us from our fellows, and from Jesus. Then we must be willing to change, and accept the consequences of those changes. The changes may be difficult, and unpopular, but we must “stay the course” and continue on the path set out by Jesus. We can help one another in this with our support, love for one another, and mutual prayer.
Also striking is the fact that these two people were not “followers of Jesus”, but an unclean woman and a leader in the temple. They must have been very desperate, very courageous, and also very moved to trust that Jesus could give the help they asked for. Perhaps they had heard of other miracles that Jesus had done, and were open to asking for the help they needed. They persisted, and were rewarded for their faith. We also need to persist in the face of adversity, and not give up or give in to doubts or despair.
Another thing that strikes me is the fact that the healing of the woman was very “public”, in that it took place in the midst of the crowd. And Jesus tells the woman that her faith has made her well (has saved her), and to go in peace. Contrasting with this, Jesus allows only three disciples to go with him to the home where the daughter is lying. And he clears the house of all but the three and the mother and father. This is quite a departure from the public healing just performed. He then takes the child by the hand and bids her to get up. After she arises, Jesus tells the select onlookers to get her some food, and not to let anyone know about this. Thus, we too can go about our lives as we have also been saved.
In closing, these two miracles give us much to think about – and are a reminder that a “lively faith” can indeed change lives.