“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, but publicly acknowledged her faith.
All the while as this scene transpired, Jairus must have been in agony. He knew how close his daughter was to death, and every second counted. Jesus took that limited precious time and engaged with this woman. Just as they were about to resume their journey, and he began to breathe again, 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 the woman, could that have made the difference? 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 considered 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 witnessed such faith with the woman healed from the hemorrhage, 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 healed his daughter, by taking her hand and commanding her to rise and walk, she came back to life.
How many of us are now, have been, or have known someone who has experienced such great needs as did Jairus, whose daughter was near death, or the woman who had been suffering for twelve years with hemorrhages? How many of us have experienced such healings today? How many of us have experienced the opposite? We experienced no healing, we wondered where Jesus was, and/or wondered why he allowed this to happen, or bother 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 some time has passed, and we have gained some perspective from healing.
Remember also, death is not the final answer. 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 that we are to place our trust in: “Do not be afraid, just have faith” (Mk 5:36). In our times of trial and sorrow, it is important to lean on the strength of Jesus and one another. In times of miracles, it is important to thank Jesus and those who were there for us.
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Link for the Mass readings for Tuesday, February 5, 2019: Not showing on USCCB site today. Good opportunity to dust off your Bible!