Gospel Reflection for June 30, 2024 – 13th Sunday Ordinary Time

Sunday Readings: Wisdom 1.13-15; 2.23-24; 2 Corinthians 8.7,9,13-15; Mark 5.21-43

 One of the leaders of the synagogue, Jairus, came and when he saw Jesus, fell at his feet and begged him, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live. So Jesus went with Jairus and a large crowd pressed in on him.

A woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for 12 years came up behind him in the crowd, and touched his garments, “If I but touch his garment, I will be healed.” Immediately her flow of blood stopped and she felt in her body she was healed.  Just as immediately Jesus is aware the power had gone forth from him, turned about in the crowd, and said, “Who touched my clothes.”  The woman, afraid and trembling but knowing what had happened to her, came, fell before him, and told him the whole truth.  Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace, and continue whole and free from your scourge.”

Jesus took Jairus and the child’s mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child lay. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, to you I say, arise!” Immediately the girl got up and began to walk about. She was 12 years old. At this they were overcome with amazement. (excerpts from Mark 5.21-43)

The gospel writer tells the stories of the two daughters aa story within a story. In both stories the people are desperate. Jairus and his wife fear for their daughter’s life. The woman with the hemorrhage despairs of ending the flow of blood. Both the desperate parents and the despairing woman respond to Jesus’ healing and life-giving power with amazement.

Repeatedly Mark’s gospel creates these threshold moments that call us to faith. The story of the hemorrhaging woman interrupts and delays Jesus’ response to Jairus. The woman seeks Jesus out as a last desperate act. Imagine the weakness she feels after 12 years of losing blood and energy, her unclean condition also excluding her from the temple. She takes matters into her own hands and from behind she touches Jesus’ garment.

When Jesus wants to know who touched him, the woman moves from desperation to fear and trembling and then testifies to the whole truth of what has happened to her. She proclaims the good news of her healing publicly in the midst of the crowd. Her faith heals her. Jesus addresses her as daughter.

The child is the daughter of Jairus and of the synagogue he leads. The child is 12 years old, an approximate age for the onset of menstruation but lies near death. Jesus calls her to arise and gives her a future. The healing overcomes the parents and Jesus’ disciples Peter, James, and John with amazement, the threshold where faith in Jesus begins.

  • What future in the Christian community do you want for your daughters?
  • How has the faith testimony of others nourished your faith?
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