Touched and Healed

Mark 5: 21-43
2 Sm 18: 9-10, 14, 24-25,
30 – 19:3 / Ps 86:1-6

“Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
(Mark 5:34)

A little faith can gain so much
Once we give in to plans divine,
And from our pain His healing touch
Will transform us to God’s design.

When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around Him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at His feet. He 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. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His cloak, thinking, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body 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 answered, “You see the people crowding against you,and yet you can 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 and, trembling with fear, 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 people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “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 leader, 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 began to walk 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

When Jesus sailed back to Capernaum from the Gerasene district, two people of different social status were eagerly awaiting His return: Jairus, a synagogue official, and un unnamed woman considered as a social outcast. They were both in similar desperate straits: Jairus’ 12 year old daughter was on the point of death, while the woman had a 12-year old hemorrhaging affliction. Both also shared the belief in the power of touch: Jairus, asking Jesus to lay His hand on his daughter to heal her; and the woman thinking that if she could only touch Jesus’ garment, she would be healed. Both of them received the Lord’s healing power because of their faith.

These two persons in Mark’s Gospel had only heard about Jesus, but both believed that He was their last and only recourse. The woman with the hemorrhage believed that even just the clothes of the Lord had the ‘magical’ power to heal her, and her faith moved Jesus’ healing grace to flow to her. But being ‘unclean’, she was greatly in fear when it was discovered that she had touched Jesus (making Him and others she came in contact with ritually ‘unclean’ also). But our Lord assured her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” Our Lord had 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, whose impatience by then must have been obvious 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.

Many Christians today still believe in the ‘spiritual powers’ of relics of saints or holy objects, and even ‘miraculous water’ from springs under grottos that heal them of various afflictions. We once had a natural grotto in our farm where we put a statue of our Blessed Mother. Many people claimed that they were healed of their ailments when they prayed at the grotto. One day, the ‘miraculous’ statue was stolen. If only the thief believed in God’s compassion for the sick, he would realize that it was their prayers that led to the healing of the devotees and not the statue. Nothing is impossible if we reach out to God for our healing.

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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