Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – B

28 June 2015

Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič

Wis 1:13-15. 2:23-24; 2 Cor 8:7.9.13-15; Mk 5:21-43

Two very difficult human experiences are presented to Jesus in today’s gospel reading, which at the same time are examples of faith in the Lord that provide healing and new life.

The first one describes a woman afflicted by haemorrhages for twelve years, who in her desperate situation approached Jesus somewhat ashamed, almost superstitiously from behind, but also with faith, for she said: If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured. How often have we desired the very same strength of faith, in order to be able to “touch the Lord” and be healed of our infirmities of body and soul? We might have a certain problem, whether physical or spiritual, that we would like to be rid of, but we struggle and try to resolve things ourselves until we become desperate, like this woman in the gospel. Yet healings are possible to those who approach the Lord Jesus and are capable of touching his Sacred Heart through faith.

Upon touching Jesus the woman was cured immediately. After finding her, Jesus said to the woman: Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction. Jesus replies with a beautiful expression ‘daughter’. The woman had no more reason to be ashamed or to hide. She received healing from the Lord and is now a daughter of God called to remain alive and well, physically and spiritually.

The second example is that of a young twelve year old girl, who was the daughter of Jairus, a synagogue official, who was at the point of death. The father approaches Jesus directly and falls on his knees pleading 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. Another desperate situation is presented to Jesus, yet one in which the father of the child intercedes for his daughter out of a great love for her. Blessed are we who have friends who intercede for us by offering their prayers to God. Jesus goes to the man’s home to see the child, but when they arrived it was too late, the girl had died and the people did not want to disturb Jesus any more. However, exactly at this moment, when everything seemed over and done with, in the face of the reality of death, Jesus retorts with: Do not be afraid; just have faith.

Now came the time for faith on the part of Jairus and the family. Jesus says: Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep. He then entered the room where the child lay and instead of being touched, Jesus reaches out and takes the hand of the dead girl and says: Talitha koum, which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”. The girl immediately arose and walked around. Where death and desperation were present, Jesus restored life and hope.

Similar situations can often happen in our lives as well. When we are faced with desperate situations, enormous difficulties and even the death of our loved ones, we are always called to revive our faith and trust in God. There are times in our lives when we are like the woman or little girl. Jesus speaks the same words to us today as once to the dead twelve year old girl: I say to you, arise!

Arise from your fears that paralyze your soul due to a lack of faith in God and in his divine Providence!

Arise from your self-sufficient lifestyle in which you have become lazy, seeking a comfortable life while avoiding God and the needs of others!

Arise from your spiritual death which takes hold of you and can become like a haemorrhaging of the soul, every time you deliberately choose to sin instead of doing good!

Arise and be healthy and free through faith in God! Come forth, humbly on your knees to the Lord in order to seek the healing and new life you desire, but pray with faith in Christ who is the resurrection and the life (Jn 11:24). Try to touch the Lord with faith and allow yourselves to be touched by his grace and you shall find new life in Him!

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