XIII. O.T.[B]: Wis 1:13-15; 2:23-24; 2 COR 8:7, 9, 13-15; Mk 5:21--43
The whole world was saddened when Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. died in a medical clinic in Mexico. What was she doing in Mexico? It's simple. Doctors in the United States had told her they could do no more for her. The clinic in Mexico offered hope. That hope may have been an illusion, but who can blame her?
Two years ago the day I reached home for vacation, my 26 year old nephew who had been going through cancer treatment discontinued his treatments, because his treatments gave him more pain than his sickness gave, adding to the fact that there was no improvements with the treatments but grew worse. With all hope lost he was waiting for death to come and in less than a month’s time there came a Charismatic retreat in our parish, conducted by a healing minister. My dad forced my nephew to attend the retreat. On the first night of the retreat, he thought that was his last day on earth because of the severity of pain. But he survived that night and so he went the second day too. And finally he made all the 5 days retreat and at the end of the retreat he felt he got healed. He went back to his college and finished his studies and was about to start on a job last month and he found out that the cancer came back. Further tests showed that it was in a little advanced stage now. Doctors told there isn’t much to do with treatments but could try. He is waiting now to start on the treatments.
Someone who has lost all hopes would be willing to make any sacrifices to get some hope.
The two people in today’s gospel find Jesus because they lost all hope and they found hope in him. The woman had lost all hopes for cure after 12 years of treatment with no improvements and the father of the 12 year old girl who had lost all hope of her survival comes to Jesus.
This story tells us a lot about this man who was the ruler of the synagogue, a person of some considerable importance. He was one of the most important and most respected men in the community. But something happened to him when his daughter fell ill and he thought of Jesus.
First of all, his prides were forgotten. There can be no doubt that he might have regarded Jesus as an outsider and as a dangerous heretic. But he was big enough to abandon his prejudices in his hour of need. "Prejudice cannot see the things that are because it is always looking for things that aren't” When Jairus shed his prejudice, he was able to see what Jesus was able to do for him. He realized, none but only Jesus could help him.
The woman’s boldness in touching Jesus' garment -- which, according to the Law, made Jesus unclean -- could have angered him. Further, because her “chronic bleeding disease” rendered her ritually unclean, and any contact she had with others in the crowd, made them also ritually unclean as well. But her Faith in the healing power of Jesus was so strong that she risked breaking all the social rules to seek what she believed He could do for her. I think one of the reasons she touched the garment was not to make Jesus unclean by her touching, but that would be sufficient enough to get her healing. That may be also why she delayed acknowledging she touched him.
By affectionately calling her "daughter," Jesus established a relationship with her and gave her the assurance that she was healed: “Daughter, your Faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” In addition, she gained a personal relationship with Jesus as a member of his family (3:35). By trusting in the power of God and doing His will, she was not only physically cured but was also fully restored to a normal religious and social life. It was her deep Faith in Jesus - symbolized by her touching the tassel of his garment - that was a major factor in her healing.
Though the ruler may have trusted Jesus out of desperation and the woman’s Faith may have been a bit superstitious, even their perhaps defective Faith was amply rewarded.
Even after Jairus received the shocking news of the death of his daughter, Jesus insisted on going to Jairus’ house and consoled the father saying, "Do not be afraid; only have Faith." The phrase, "Do not be afraid,” appears in the Bible 366 times, the same number of days we have in a year. Meaning, everyday Jesus tells us do not be afraid, but have faith. When we have faith in the Lord the fear has no place in our life, because Jesus takes away all the fears.
Each patient carries his own doctor inside himself: The great missionary physician, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, said it simply and realistically, "Each patient carries his own doctor inside himself. They come to us [physicians] not knowing that truth. We are best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to work." Are we giving the "doctor who resides" within you the chance to work? Are we moving the greatest doctor in us a chance to do his healing work in us?
At the end of this Mass will we find Jesus walking down the aisle, turning left and right looking for people who touched him? Will he find anyone in this community who touched him by his faith? Or will we be one of those who walked around and jostled him, but never caught Jesus’ attention by touching him by faith?
Tomorrow is the solemnity of Sts.Peter & Paul and today the Church invites us to support the Holy Father in supporting the poor in the world by Peter’s Pence collection. Jesus’ mission was helping the poor and the needy and that is the whole message of the gospel is. Let’s respond positively and wholeheartedly to this mission of the Church.