To be Touched and Healed

Mark 5: 21-43

2Sm 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. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and fell at His feet. He pleaded earnestly with Jesus, “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 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… When she heard about Jesus, she 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 and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples answered, “You see the people crowding against you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” … Then the woman 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. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”… Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”… 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. (Mark 5:21-43)

Reflection

Both of these two persons in Mark’s Gospel had only heard about Jesus, but 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 power to heal her, and her faith moved Jesus’ healing grace to flow to her. But being ‘unclean’, she was in great fear when it was discovered that she had touched Jesus. But our Lord assured her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” He also assured Jairus when the news came that his daughter had died, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Our Lord stopped and confronted the woman to let her know that it was her faith, (and not His clothes) 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. Assured by Jesus, he believed 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. May this Gospel passage teach us that nothing is impossible if we reach out to God for our healing.

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

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