Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
One of the beautiful aspects of the miracle stories is their vividness. Today, in Mark’s Gospel, we can clearly visualize the images of the synagogue official and the hemorrhaging woman. It is not hard to see Jairus falling at Jesus feet and grasp his feelings as he fears for his daughter’s life. You can feel his pain and see the tears he must have been shedding. You can empathize with this man who is going to lose his child. And yet, he had faith. He had faith and trust that Jesus would have mercy on him.
And too the hemorrhaging woman, we can see her, weak from excessive bleeding, ignored and mistreated by her doctors. Because of the stigma of menstrual bleeding, she was most likely scorned by family and friends. Surely she must have been feeling utterly without hope. Perhaps she was thinking that she would be better off dead. She had nowhere to turn, you can feel her deep despair. And yet, she had faith. She had faith that Jesus would cure her.
When the Gospel of Mark was being written, the author must have thought about how desperate people become in their lives. How often they are without hope. Perhaps that is why these stories are so very vivid. We are being told – look, see this man and this woman, surely the most desperate of people, turning to Jesus in hope and faith.
What do we do when we meet with what we perceive as hopeless situations? Where do we turn when it seems as though there are no answers? How often do we think to drop to our knees and ask for Jesus’ help?
Where is our faith?
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the ways that God performs miracles for us. When we go to Confession, with faith in the power of God, we are healed! And forgiven! Is there any better miracle than this?
This summer as we deal with the problems of everyday life, as we experience the frailty of our human condition, let’s pray that our faith will be straightened. And let’s turn to God in Reconciliation and as the woman in today’s Gospel, let us say and believe- "if we can just touch the hem of his cloak, we will be cured!"
Mary Lou Butler ([email protected])is a former staff member and is now a member of the Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center Board, Sierra Madre, California.