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 feet and 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.
Why do we have to confess our sins? Today’s Gospel offers an answer, which I learned from Fr. Ronald Rolheiser’s The Holy Longing. In this story, Rolheiser sees two stages of healing. The hemorrhaging woman is mostly healed by touching Jesus’ cloak. But she is completely healed when she tells Jesus “the whole truth.”
This “whole truth” may or may not be related to the woman’s disease. The Gospel does not say. Either way, after her bleeding stops, a still deeper healing is possible. But this deeper healing requires a more personal encounter, which Jesus invites: “Who touched my clothes?” The woman accepts and, though afraid, bares her soul to God. Now she is not only freed from disease, but is entirely “made well.”
When did you last tell God “the whole truth” about your life? When might you do so again, that you too might be “made well”?
My God, I love you above all things
and I hate and detest with my whole soul
the sins by which I have offended you,
because they are displeasing in your sight,
who are supremely good and worthy to be loved.
I acknowledge that I should love you
with a love beyond all others,
and that I should try to prove this love to you.
I consider you in my mind as infinitely greater
than everything in the world,
no matter how precious or beautiful.
I therefore firmly and irrevocably resolve
never to consent to offend you
or do anything that may displease your sovereign goodness
and place me in danger of falling from your holy grace,
in which I am fully determined
to persevere to my dying breath. Amen.
—St. Francis Xavier, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!