13th Sunday of Ordinary Time
In our readings for this Sunday, two family stories are presented to us. A story of a father’s faith for his daughter’s health; and a woman’s distress about her long-time suffering of bleeding.
It is a discomfort for a woman to bleed continuously, even if it is not her monthly period. In the story, it was not mentioned in which part of the body the woman was suffering from bleeding. Perhaps she was not only experiencing physical bleeding, possibly, it was a cause of broken relationships: broken families, broken marriages, experiences of betrayal, abuses, maltreatment of the society and others. She might have open wounds that when she allows them to be exposed, the more it will be infected. Twelve years she was battling with it which had already infected her life. She sought treatment but no one can give her the right medications for her bleeding. The only person she found that could treat her was Jesus. When she heard about Jesus without any hesitations, she followed Jesus only to touch Jesus’ cloak. “If I touch his clothes, I shall be cured,” What faith! “and her flow of blood dried up…” Surely enough she felt a different feeling after she touched the clothes of Jesus. Her faith reached her soul and of her being a woman that nobody recognizes her importance, even her value. She felt that she was healed from her afflictions.
How many women bleed every day, who also dreamt to touch even the cloak of Jesus? We can find them around us. Women who are working abroad for their families; who are abused and maltreated by their employers. Women who are trafficked because of poverty, financially and mentally. Women who are abandoned by their families and relatives. Women who bleed, wounded, devastated and maltreated. Healing is what they seek like the woman in the Gospel. No other man that she could hold unto but the person of Jesus which her faith freed her from all her afflictions.
Jairus, one of the synagogue officials and a father approached Jesus and fell on his feet to plead for help for his ailing daughter. In the story we can see the movement of the father. He left his daughter to find a cure, and the only cure he found was Jesus. When they arrived at the official’s house it was covered with sorrow and tears. Reporting to Jairus that the daughter was dead, need not to bother the Master. Jesus consoled the family and said, “do not be afraid but have faith”.
Moreover, in this story we don’t know the cause why Jairus’ daughter was ill. We could say if we place their situation this time, perhaps his daughter was suffering from depression, anxiety or other emotional problems causing her dying moment. During this time of pandemic parents are helpless when their children feel bored with their on-line classes and modules. Virtual meeting somehow is not good for the health of these young generations due to deprivation of socialization, that is, less interaction with their friends plus the too much use of gadgets. These might be the problems of Jairus. Definitely, Jairus also suffered to see his daughter in this kind of situation.
The only healing Jairus found was in the person of Jesus. In the story Jesus was with Jairus and his wife and asked the people to leave the room allowing the family to be alone. Perhaps Jesus talked to the parents and counsel them. Jesus took the child and commanded her to get up. His words are the words of life. “Talitha Koum” means “little girl, I say to you arise!” These words lit the house when she started to get up and walked around. The happiness of the parents of the girl must be overflowing. Their daughter who was once dead, came back to life. Healing and forgiveness came into the house of Jairus.
All of us need healing: healing from physical sickness, emotional sickness, and healing of our wounded past. When doctors and medical treatment cannot give us the answer to our brokenness, we are invited to look for the true healer of our body and soul. The physician of all our sickness is Jesus. He brought us healing to cure and make us feel better. He will freed us from the slavery of our sinfulness. He will dry up the flow of tears and blood from which we are suffering for years. By faith, in faith and through faith even only to touch Him, we are healed.