A CARING GOD
(A biblical refection on THE THIRTEENTH ORDINARY SUNDAY – June 28, 2015)
Gospel Reading: Mark 5:21-43
First Reading: Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24; Psalms: Psalm 30:2,4-6,11-13; Second Reading: 2Corinthians 8:7,9,13-15
And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about Him; and He was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and seeing Him, he fell at His feet, and besought Him, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” And He went with him.
And a great crowd followed Him and thronged about Him. And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If I touch even His garments, I shall be made well.” And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in Himself that power had gone forth from Him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, “Who touched Me?” And He looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith had made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
While He was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” And He allowed no one to follow Him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, He saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly. And when He had entered, He said to them, “Why do you make a tumult and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at Him. But He put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with Him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand He said to her, “Talitha cumi”; which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and walked; for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were overcome with amazement. And He strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. (Mark 5:21-43 RSV)
In today’s Gospel we find an important revelation about God as seen through the humanity of Jesus. He had scarcely begun instructing a group of listeners when Jairus, one of the officials of the synagogue, interrupted Him with an earnest appeal to come down and cure His critically ill daughter.
Without a word of complaint, Jesus patiently responded. But as He prepared to follow Jairus, He felt someone touch Him. It was a woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years and for whom the doctors could offer no relief. Instead of brushing the woman as if to say; “Don’t bother Me now. Can’t you see, this important man wants Me to save his daughter from death?” He took time out and said gently, “Daughter, your faith had made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (Mark 5:34).
But before He could finish speaking with the woman, He was interrupted again by the friends of the official who arrived to say that the girl had died. Undaunted by the information, Jesus went to the official’s house and raised the girl to life (cf. Mark 5:35ff.).
These two episodes tell us about God. Through Jesus’ action, they convey that God is compassionate, sensitive and caring. He does have time for people, big people like Jairus as well as little people like the unnamed woman.
Today’s Gospel says that when we talk to God about our problems and difficulties, we’re not afraid that He will reply, “I’m sorry, but I just don’t have time; I am too busy looking after important people like the Pope or the President.” Nor does God find a problem too little to bother with or too big to solve, a non-fatal hemorrhage or death itself.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I firmly believe that You are a caring God who will see your children – including myself – through all the difficulties of this life and will finally lead them successfully through death to eternal life. I pray for all those who suffer in the world. I pray that they may have the strength to bear what they have to bear, to recognize Your presence in Christ in their suffering. I pray that they will come within Your Kingdom and be given the fullness of joy. Amen.
Jakarta, 25 June 2015
A Christian Pilgrim