Faith will save us. MARK 5:21–43
By Felix Edinborough
In this week’s gospel, we see two distinct stories, one of Jairus, a synagogue official, and his daughter who is brought back to life, and the other of the woman who has suffered from a haemorrhage for 12 years and is cured when she touches the cloak of Jesus.
These two stories fill us with convincing evidence of the relationship between Jesus and His followers. Jesus shows that He does not discriminate in deciding whom He should help, and also His ability to be so observant as to notice even those hidden from His view. It is also a story of the importance of faith.
Jairus demonstrated enormous faith in Jesus when he pleaded with Him to come and heal his daughter. The unnamed woman with the haemorrhage showed equal faith by believing that if she could just touch Jesus’ clothes, she would be well again, though she had borne her illness for 12 years.
When the woman ‘frightening and trembling’ identified herself, Jesus said to her: “Your faith has restored you to health”.
Jesus assists both of them because of their faith, though one was a courageous high official and the other a simple anonymous timid woman. He shows no discrimination. Regardless of our position in society Jesus is willing to assist.
In the account with the woman, we are told that she was in a crowd, yet He was able to feel her touch. He comes to the aid of the disregarded.
This reminds us of the story of the blind Bartimaeus who though in a crowd, and scolded by those around him, was still able to get the attention of Jesus. Zaccheus, too, was observed by Jesus even though he was hiding in a tree. These accounts bring to life memories of people that we know and make us recognise the word of God living in our world.
We remember people like the late Archbishop Anthony Pantin and his brother ‘Fr Gerry’ who were able to offer help to both the rich and poor who had faith in them. We cannot forget St Mother Teresa in whom all walks of society had faith and she was able to assist them all. Apart from giving material help they were able to resuscitate those whose souls were dead because of sin, and who came to them for assistance.
I am sure that should you do some reflection on this scripture passage, you will find examples of people you know who are living these gospel stories by their lives.
They may be teachers that we can recall and who were able to save us in our studies when we had faith in them. There might have been family and friends who were able to restore life to our work when we thought we were failures. These are examples for us to follow.
In reading this gospel story we must not forget the significance of the very last line where Jesus told them to give the girl something to eat. He had just brought her back to life and for her continued health and sustenance, she had to eat.
It is the same for us when we are brought back to the grace of God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation; we need to eat the body and blood of Christ for the continuing health of the soul.
Lord, we thank You for those friends, family, and religious leaders in whom we were able to have faith and who gave us renewed hope and life when we were despairing and thought all was dead.
We ask forgiveness for the times we were in a position to comfort those who needed help and we refused. We scolded those who wanted to come to us, and we dissuaded them and left them unaided.
We ask You to send us leaders, spiritual and temporal in whom we can have faith and who will always be ready to help us. They will not think us too small but be able to find us when we are in need and give us nutrition for body and soul.
The gospel meditations for June were by Felix Edinborough, a retired secondary school teacher and a parishioner of St Anthony’s, Petit Valley.