21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
22 One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet
23 and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”
24 He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.
25 There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
26 She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
27 She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak.
28 She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
29 Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
30 Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
31 But his disciples said to Jesus, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
32 And he looked around to see who had done it.
33 The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
35 While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
36 Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
37 He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
38 When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.
39 So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”
40 And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was.
41 He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
42 The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded.
43 He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.
Reflection 1: “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
In our gospel, we have two miracles performed by Jesus, the healing of a sick woman and raising of a dead person to life. In both instances, the message of faith was given like in many other miracles in the scripture.
We take note of the confidence of Jairus in the power of Jesus to heal. He comes forward with humility to plead the case for his daughter. We also note the patience and faith of a woman who suffered bleeding for 12 long years.
The reading mentions the name of Jairus as a synagogue official and thus he must be prominent in the community. Though considered by His disciples as a teacher, Jesus was looked down by the leaders of Israel at that time. So this Jairus was an exception for he paid homage to Jesus by falling to His feet and plead. This is a lesson for us about humility and faith. No matter what position we have in society, it really matters that we humble ourselves before the Lord.
On the way to Jairus’ house, another miracle happened – a woman who believed that by touching the cloth of Jesus, she would get healed and she did! After 12 years of patiently suffering from bleeding, she got immediate cure just by believing and touching a cloth. We could imagine her low self-esteem because of her uncleanness yet the name of Jesus gave her hope and freedom.
Lastly, when Jesus and the crowd reached Jairus’ house, somebody announced the death of the child, the only daughter of Jairus and it was useless for the Lord to go inside. Jesus encouraged Jairus to keep the faith. Eventually, his beloved daughter was brought back to life.
We may be suffering from illness or from any other problem for a very long time. We may be losing hope but let us listen to Jesus telling us: “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” With faith and love, we shall overcome!
Reflection 2: Nothing is impossible with God
There are two miracle stories in the gospel reading above. The first is the healing of the woman who was hemorrhaging for 12 years. The second is the healing of the daughter of Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. It is actually a tale within a tale, both imbued with disbelief to the point of laughter and at the same time filled with feelings of despondency to the point of mourning. In both stories, Jesus was sneered at.
For twelve long years, the woman suffered with chronic bleeding. There is no hope of healing or so it seems. Despondency is about to set in but then Jesus comes along. She just believed that with a touch of His clothes, she will be healed. Although she was physically weak, she found a way to accomplish her mission. With her strong faith, she got what she wanted and went home in peace.
The daughter of Jairus was dead before Jesus arrived. It is useless for Him to proceed to the house of Jairus. He is too late for His purpose. What else could be done? Nothing, the people thought. That is why, they were mourning. Then Jesus spoke those words that were immediately met with ridicule: “The child is not dead but asleep”. It is time to show God’s power. With the words “Talitha koum”, the little child became alive and there she is, walking around.
The two stories tell us never to underestimate the power and love of God. When all things seem hopeless, God comes to our rescue. We just have to believe that in Him, nothing is impossible (Matthew 19:26, Luke 1:37).