“Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who has touched my clothes'” (Mk 5:30)? The woman could have slipped away, she could have stood still and said nothing, no one knew. His disciples were bewildered that Jesus asked such a question with so many pressing about him. But the woman approached with “fear and trembling” and told him the truth. Jesus did not admonish her for breaking a social taboo, even though both he and she knew the woman was healed the moment she touched his garment, Jesus publicly recognized her faith.
All the while as this scene transpired, Jairus must have been in agony, knowing how close his daughter was to death, and Jesus actually stopped and took the precious time to even engage with this woman. Finally, they were about to resume their journey when the terrible news came that his daughter had passed away. What might have flashed through his mind in that moment? The time Jesus took to talk with her, could that have made the difference? Other details surely crossed his mind, he was a synagogue official and would have known the taboos she crossed to reach out and touch Jesus in public, he knew that in doing so she would make Jesus unclean, she was a woman who was the lowest of low. She was frail and pallid from her condition, at death’s door herself, yet she had mustered more courage and faith, than he had.
Jesus said to the man, “Do not be afraid, just have faith” (Mk 5:36). Jairus had just experienced a powerful expression of just such faith with this woman, probably someone until this very moment who he would have shown disdain for. Maybe just maybe, if he could muster the same faith as her, Jesus could bring his daughter back to life. A light shone in the darkness of his despair and the darkness did not overcome it. Jesus indeed heals his daughter, by taking her hand and commanding her to rise and walk.
How many of us have been or have known someone who has experienced such great needs as did Jairus, whose daughter was near death, or did the woman who had been suffering for twelve years with hemorrhages? How many of us know of such healings that still happen today? How many of us have though experienced the opposite? Where we experienced no healing, we wondered where Jesus was, and why did he allow this to happen, or did not step in to help?
The best we can do in times of trial and dire need is to trust in Jesus. He may or may not bring the outcome we seek. But I assure you that he is present with us through our pain and suffering, whether we feel his presence or not. Sometimes he allows the unthinkable to happen, of which we cannot even comprehend at the time, to bring about a greater good. Often, we are not able to see that until a later date when we are able to look back. Remember also, death is not a final end, Jesus has conquered death, he and we who participate with him are victorious. Ultimately, faith is placing our trust in our God and Father who loves us, who is present to us, and carries us in our darkest hour. He sent his Son Jesus to us, to walk with us, who has given us these words: “Do not be afraid, just have faith” (Mk 5:36). Let us place our hand in his, face what is before us, and be on our way together.

Photo: St Augustine Parish, Culver City, CA, December 2017
Link for the Mass readings for Tuesday, January 30, 2018:



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