2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14b, 24-25a, 30-19:3
"Do not be afraid, just have faith."
In today’s Gospel reading, St Mark uses a "sandwich" technique (one story in the middle of another), to highlight his message.
We start out with the story of Jairus, a synagogue official, who requests that Jesus come to his house to heal his 12 year old daughter. On the way, Jesus heals a woman who has suffered from hemorrhaging for 12 years.
Both of these persons in Mark’s Gospel had only heard about Jesus, but somehow knew that He was their last resort for healing.
The woman with the hemorrhage believed that if she could just touch the cloak of Jesus, she would be cured. She did manage to touch His cloak the when she did, "the power went out from Him." When Jesus learned who "touched" Him, He assured her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."
Jesus also assured Jairus when the news came that his daughter had died, "Do not be afraid, just have faith." And Jesus brings his daughter back to life.
How do we approach Jesus in our lives? Do we approach in fear or faith? Are we willing to touch His cloak and trust that he will take our concerns as His own?
There is a difference between knowing about Our Lord and knowing Him personally; between proximity to Christ and intimacy with Him; and between going through the motions and striving to live a spiritual life.
Because we know about Our Lord, we can simply go through the motions–be familiar with the Mass, recite the Creed and go to Communion because the rest of the community does it and because it happens every Sunday. Or, we can turn our will and our lives over daily to His care and hear those same words, "Do not be afraid, just have faith."
Every prayer we speak, every Mass we attend, every Communion we receive, can be as our hand reaching out to Christ, seeking "the power that goes out from Him." Jesus performed miracles in the lives of these two people, based on their faith. Do we anticipate miracles in our own lives?
Deacon Brian Clements was formerly on the staff at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center in Sierra Madre, California