TUESDAY 4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME GOSPEL, COMMENTARY AND READING. JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER AND THE WOMAN WITH HEMORRHAGE (Mk 5:21–43).
GOSPEL OF TUESDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
THE CURING OF JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER AND OF THE WOMAN WITH HEMORRHAGE
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. One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet 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.” He went off with him and a large crowd followed him.
There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. 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. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, Who touched me?” And he looked around to see who had done it. The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
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?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” 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. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.
- vv. 21-43 Both Jairus and the woman with the flow of blood give us an example of faith in Christ’s omnipotence, for only a miracle can cure Jairus’ daughter, who is on her death-bed, and heal this lady, who has done everything humanly possible to get better.
- Similarly, the Christian should always expect God to help him overcome the obstacles in the way of his sanctification. Normally, God’s help comes to us in an unspectacular way, but we should not doubt that, if it is necessary for our salvation, God will again work miracles. However, we should bear in mind that what the Lord expects of us is that we should every day fulfil his will.
- 25 This woman suffered from an illness which implied legal impurity (Lev 15:25f1).
- Medical attention had failed to cure her; on the contrary, as the Gospel puts it so realistically, she was worse than ever. In addition to her physical suffering — which had gone on for twelve years — she suffered the shame of feeling unclean according to the Law. The Jews not only regarded a woman in this position as being impure: everything she touched became unclean as well.
- Therefore, in order not to be noticed by the people, the woman came up to Jesus from behind and, Out of delicacy, touched only his garment. Her faith is enriched by her expression of humility: she is conscious of being unworthy to touch our Lord.
- “She touched the hem of his garment, she approached him in a spirit of faith, she believed, and she realized that she was cured… So we too, if we wish to be saved, should reach out in faith to touch the garment of Christ” (St Ambrose, Expositio Evangelii sec. Lucam, VI, 56. 58).
- 30 In all that crowd pressing around him only this woman actually touched Jesus — and she touched him not only with her hand but with the faith she bore in her heart. St Augustine comments:
- “She touches him, the people crowd him. Is her touching not a sign of her belief” (In Ioann. Evang., 26, 3).
- We need contact with Jesus. We have been given no other means under heaven by which to be saved (cf. Acts 4:12). When we receive Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, we obtain this physical contact through the sacramental species. We too need to enliven our faith if these encounters with our Lord are to redound to our salvation (cf. Mt 13:58).
- 37 Jesus did not want more than these three Apostles to be present: three is the number of witnesses laid down by the Law (Deut 19:15).
- “For Jesus, being humble, never acted in an ostentatious way” (Theophilactus, Enarratio in Evanglium Marci, in loc.). Besides these were the three disciples closest to Jesus: later, only they will be with him at the Transfiguration (cf. 9:2) and at his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (cf. 14:33).
- 39 Jesus’ words are in contrast with those of the ruler’s servants: they say: “Your daughter is dead”; whereas he says: “She is not dead but sleeping”.
- “To men’s eyes she was dead, she could not be awoken; in God’s eyes she was sleeping, for her soul was alive and was subject to God’s power, and her body was resting awaiting the resurrection. Hence the custom which arose among Christians of ring to the dead, whom we know will rise again, as those who are asleep” (St Bede, In Marci Evangelium expositio, in loc).
- What Jesus says shows us that, for death is only a kind of sleep, for he can awaken anyone from the dead when he wishes. The same happens with the death and resurrection of Lazarus. Jesus says: “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him out of sleep.” And, when the disciples think that it is ordinary sleep he is referring to, our tells them plainly: “Lazarus is dead” (cf. Jn 11:1 1ff).
- 40-42 Like all the Gospel miracles the raising of the daughter of Jairus demonstrates Christ’s divinity. Only God can work miracles; sometimes he does them in a direct way, sometimes by using created things as a medium.
- The exclusively divine character of miracles — expecially the miracle of raising the dead — is noticed in the Old Testament: “The Lord wills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up” (1 Sam 2:6), because he has “power over life and death” (Wis 16:13).
- And also in the Old Testament God uses men to raise the dead to life: the prophet Elijah revives the son of the widow of Sarepta by ‘crying to the Lord’ (cf. 1 Kings 17:21), and Elisha prevails on him to raise the son of the Shunammite (2 Kings 4:33).
- In the same way, in the New Testament the Apostles do not act by their own power but by that of Jesus to whom they first offer fervent prayer : Peter restores to life a Christian women of Joppa named Tabitha (Acts 9:36ff); and Paul, in Troas, brings Eutychus back to life after he falls from a high window (Acts 20:7ff). Jesus does not refer to any superior power; his authority is sovereign: all he has to do is give the order and the daughter of Jairus is brought back to life; this shows that he is God.
Dear brethren in Christ, we are reminded how Jesus resurrects Jairo’s daughter and heals the sick woman. Let us be convinced that none of the evils of man can resist the wonderful power of Christ the Savior. The miracles he performs are the signs of his messianism, of his goodness, of his mercy, of his love. Nevertheless, God’s miracles are preceded by man’s faith and humility to ask for them if they are according to God’s Will.
At the same time, we are reminded how Jesus longs for our affection and love manifested as well by our gestures. We could ask ourselves how we manifest our love for Our Lord both in soul and body. May we learn how to materialize our affection to God through our daily deeds.
Stay safe and healthy. God bless. Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.
Grant us, Lord our God, that we may honor you with all our mind, and love everyone with rightful affection. Through our Lord.Collect prayer 4th week in Ordinary Time
SEE AS WELL THE FIRM FAITH OF THE WOMAN WITH HEMORRHAGE HERE.
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