The Power of Touch

Mark-5-two-miraclesA woman “afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years…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.’”

This has been a busy week pastorally speaking – more so as we are more open in this (hopefully) post-pandemic period. It has been one of those weeks when tragedy, misfortune, fate, calamity, heart break, and adversity all seem to set up camp in the parish.  Almost all the stories are profoundly personal, and however illustrative and grace filled, are not for retelling in a homily. Continue reading

Jairus’ Daughter

Mark-5-two-miraclesIn today’s post we continue to reflect upon this coming Sunday’s gospel with a return event which opened the readings: Jairus and his daughter. “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.” (Mark 5:35-36) The interruption of attending to the hemorrhaging women creates a time delay in the narrative, during which the young girl dies. The community responds with, messengers to report to the father, and mourners to gather at the house (vv. 35, 38). The messengers present an obstacle to the healing by advising the father to leave Jesus alone, since the girl has died. Jesus takes the initiative by telling Jairus to have faith (v. 36). The reference to faith picks up the conclusion to the healing of the woman. Continue reading

Crossing over: encounters

Mark-5-two-miraclesThe Plea of Jairus.When Jesus had crossed again (in the boat) to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him…”

Jesus is returning from his experience in Gentile territory and the casting out of a demon from a man in the Gerasene district. The transition to our text is simple and stated in one verse. Jesus returned to the western shore of the lake, perhaps to Capernaum and a multitude gathered around him, immediately upon his arrival, so it seems. No indication is given whether the crowd came together as soon as he arrived or after an extended period of time; it is simply the first fact that Mark records, offering a contrast to Jesus’ experience on the eastern shore where the inhabitants urged him to depart. Continue reading

Crossing over: context

Mark-5-two-miraclesThe Daughter of Jairus and the Woman with the Hemorrhage (5:21-43)

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. Continue reading