2 Samuel 18: 9-10; 14, 24-25;30- 19:3
Mark 5: 21-43
In today’s gospel, the role of touch is significant, especially because one would normally be contaminated by the sickness of a person he or she touched. Jairus asks Jesus to lay his hands on his daughter so that the daughter would be healed. It would be reasonable to imagine Jesus, contemplating healing the young girl without any physical touch given the crowd that had gathered.
Jesus set off for Jairus’ house and on the way a woman with a bleeding disorder touched his cloak. The woman had been suffering for as long as Jairus’ daughter had been alive. That suffering would have included being separated physically from any social gathering. Understandably desperate, she risked so much to seek out Jesus and anonymously touch his clothing. Suddenly she was cured!
It would have been her preference to disappear and rejoice, but Jesus wanted to know who had touched him. Eventually, she came forward to admit what she had done. This gave Jesus the opportunity to assure her that trust that he could heal her had led to her cure, and she could leave now in peace.
Immediately, news came that the young girl had died with the suggestion that they should not bother Jesus, but continuing what Jesus has said to reassure the healed woman, he says, “Just believe”. We know what happened! Jesus took Jairus’ twelve-year-old daughter by the hand and she was ‘raised up’.
We are invited to ‘just believe’ in the healing compassionate care of God, demonstrated by Jesus going beyond the limits of ritual cleanliness and offering his healing touch, even to ‘raise us up’.
Brian Traynor CP has been involved in faith formation for many years especially in the form of parish missions and through the Passionist Family Group Movement. Brian is a member of the Passionist community at Holy Cross, Templestowe.