When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feetand begged him repeatedly, “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 he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.
Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’” He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth.He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.”And they laughed at him.
Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/ ).
Nurses, physicians, and hospital staff understand firsthand the very fragile separation between illness and health, life and death. A night in any emergency room brings these realities into bold relief. Perhaps it is a young person in a terrible motorcycle accident. Maybe it is a senior citizen rushed to the ER in cardiac arrest. Perhaps it is someone hanging onto life after a fatal expressway accident. You look into the eyes of family members arriving unexpectedly at the hospital and read in their faces nothing but deep anxiety and pain, helplessness and fear, impending loss and even anger.
In any of these situations it is the support of family and friends that make such a difference. Standing together and confronting the fragile reality of life brings any of us to our knees in prayer for God’s healing, God’s strength, God’s life. All of this must also have been the experience of Jairus, the synagogue official in today’s gospel. “Come, lay your hands upon her so she may get well and live,” he pleads to Jesus. So also the Jewish lady with the gynecologic problem.
What is there in Jairus’ and the Jewish woman’s situation that relates to us? What “issues” do we have – issues that mix us up, ruin our relationships, issues that force grace and goodness to flow out of us? For any of us, the healing power of Jesus flows out in great abundance if we only ask. The question is how we let that power flow through our bodies, our minds, our hearts – leading us to the outreach of charity which Paul speaks of in today’s second reading.
As we turn the calendar to July, we can ask ourselves: What have I done for the Lord? What am I doing now for Jesus? What opportunities do I have this new month of grace to let my life be poured out in service for others?
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, when sickness threatens those we love and strikes at our own well-being, we need to lean upon you. Sometimes fear and loneliness can be overwhelming as pain and anxiety dominate our hearts. We place ourselves in your care; we beseech your healing upon family and friends. And we commit our trust to your constant faithfulness, especially when the journey feels so difficult and the outlook frightening. This day we will walk in the confidence that you are leading and helping us step by step.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!