Be Touched by Faith

Mark 5:21-43
Heb 12: 1-4 / Psa 22:26-28, 30-32

Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.
(Mark 5: 23)

Jesus said, “Do not be afraid.”
Believe, and it will be fulfilled.
In all the wonders God has made,
By faith are all our ailments healed.

When Jesus had crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around Him. Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came and fell at His feet, and pleaded earnestly with Him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. A woman who had heard about Jesus came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples replied, “You see the people crowding against you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at His feet. Trembling with fear, she told Him the whole truth. He said to her,”Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”

Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” ). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Reflection

It was Billy Graham who put it so clearly when he said, “I couldn’t preach with power nor lead anyone to Christ if it were not for the positive prayers for the blessing of God by thousands of believing people.” Jairus and the woman with a hemorrhage had that kind of “positive prayer” and faith which led to healing. Jesus needed the father to be steadfast in believing that his daughter would be healed in the same way that the woman with an incurable disease had believed. In another occasion, Jesus would tell the two blind men who believed that He could heal them, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” (Mt.9:29) In contrast, He could not work many miracles in His own hometown of Nazareth, “apart from curing a few sick people by laying His hands on them” due to their lack of faith (Mk.6:5-6). Our Lord had a good reason to stop and confront the woman who had secretly touched His garment. It was to let her know that it was her faith, and not His clothes possessing any magical power that caused her healing. The interruption was also Jesus’ way of testing the faith of Jairus, who must have been “going ballistics” by then because of the delay. But he kept his peace even when it seemed they were too late. He believed Jesus that He could bring his daughter back to life.

Today’s Gospel passage of Mark teaches us to put our total faith in Jesus when we come to Him in prayer for our needs. Let not a sliver of doubt distract us from the fact that our Lord of Divine Mercy answers all the prayers of His devoted children. He has said that when we pray we must believe that we have received the answer to our prayer already, because more than satisfying our needs He wants a strong faith.

Thank You, Father for making us see that the purpose of Your miracles is not only to show us Your compassion, but also to increase our faith. Amen.

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