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Thursday, 24 June 2021 15:57

Being healing and life for each other

13OTBWeb400When Jesus had crossed in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him and he stayed by the lakeside. Then one of the synagogue officials came up, Jairus by name, and seeing him, fell at his feet and pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is desperately sick. Do come and lay your hands on her to make her better and save her life.” Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed him; they were pressing all around him.

Some people arrived from the house of the synagogue official to say, “Your daughter is dead: why put the Master to any further trouble?” But Jesus had overheard this remark of theirs and he said to the official, “Do not be afraid; only have faith.” And he allowed no one to go with him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. So they came to the official’s house and Jesus noticed all the commotion, with people weeping and wailing unrestrainedly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and crying? The child is not dead, but asleep.” But they laughed at him. So he turned them all out and, taking with him the child’s father and mother and his own companions, he went into the place where the child lay. And taking the child by the hand he said to her, “Talitha, kum!” which means, “Little girl, I tell you to get up.” The little girl got up at once and began to walk about, for she was twelve years old. At this they were overcome with astonishment, and he ordered them strictly not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat. (Mark 5:21-24, 35-43)


In the longer version of this Sunday’s gospel (Mk 5:21-43) Mark presents two stories of healing and restoration worked by Jesus for two women. One is a mature woman suffering from a haemorrhage for a long time, and the other is a young girl who has just died.

Over the last few Sundays Mark has been showing us the reign of God’s grace (the Kingdom of God) at work in the person of Jesus. In the calming of the storm Mark has already insisted that it is necessary to have faith in Jesus in order to enter into the Kingdom.

Faith is about entering into relationship with Jesus. It is not the work of the mind but of the heart.

With an honesty born out of desperation Jairus and the woman seek out Jesus and begin their relationship with him. Jesus responds to both, and the dialogue between them grows. Even death is not an obstacle to the kindness of God. Jesus is God’s healing for death itself (the Way to eternal life).

In this passage Mark is suggesting that the way to find the healing and life we need is to enter into a faithful relationship with Jesus. In that relationship (as in all others of value) the conversation is not one-way – it is a loving dialogue between two hearts.

Faith in Jesus – forming a relationship with him – brings about healing and restoration for us as God’s beloved sons and daughters. We are restored to our rightful place in God’s kingdom. Two women once considered unclean because of blood and death are now healed and restored to their rightful places in their families, communities and religious practices.

Another reason why Mark tells this story is because of the problem between the Jewish and Gentile converts in his community. Some Jewish Christians who continued to hold fast to ideas about what made people clean or unclean in the sight of God could hardly bear to worship alongside pagans whom they considered unclean. This story showed them that Jesus wasn’t concerned about the women being ritually unclean and that the kindness of God was meant for all.

Through the healing and life we receive in our relationship with Jesus we can become a source of healing and life for those around us.

Download our Celebrating At Home liturgy for this Sunday.

Celebrating At Home 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time [PDF]
Celebrating At Home 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time [ePub]




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The Carmelite Rule states that is basic for a Carmelite to "live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ - how, pure in heart and stout in conscience, he must be unswerving in the service of his Master" [no.2].


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