13th Sunday in Ordinary time


2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
Mark 5:21-43


There is a story within the main story in today’s gospel and we can readily see the parallels that connect them. In  both stories there is:

– a plea for help and a belief that Jesus can help

– a person of faith who falls at Jesus’ feet’

– a reference to both women referred to as a daughter

– a mention of touch

– a mention of ‘12 years’ applying to both women

– a recognition of the key person ‘having faith’

Jairus’ daughter is 12 years of age, which means she had just begun womanhood; the time when she could become pregnant and bear life. The woman who has suffered haemorrhaging for 12 years was unable to become pregnant.

That same woman believes Jesus can cure her, if she can just touch his cloak! Jesus wants to point out that he is not a wonder worker. She was healed because of her faith, not because he had a magic cloak. In a similar way when he arrived at Jairus’ house he asked nearly everyone to leave.  He did not want to be seen as a ‘wonder worker’. His referring to this woman as daughter, is already a cure because she has been an outcast (Lev 15:25-27), but Jesus calls her a daughter (of God) and assures her that her faith has healed her. Now she belongs again!  When told that the twelve year old girl had died, he responded, “Do not doubt, but believe”.

We can come to Jesus and plea for help. We must approach with faith, not seeking magic, but calling on God’s compassionate response to our need. It is not always easy to have full trust. I love what Paul of the Cross wrote when he recognised that the fledgling Passionist Congregation could be erased. “I immediately abandoned myself into the arms of the Lord, adoring his divine judgements and being resolved to do his holy will even better.” Then he added, “Believe me though, the body makes itself felt and I had trouble sleeping last night!” 

This highlights Paul’s realistic experience and also brings to mind Jesus’ words in Gethsemane, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!”

Let us pray for the spirit we need to believe!

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.