June 26, 2018
The readings for this Sunday stress that faith involves risk taking. On the one hand, we can read both incidents as reflections on how to pray with faith. The woman gives witness to audacious prayer, and Jairus to the value and necessity of prayer for others. In combination with the first reading, the Gospel leads us to reflect on how much our faith leads us beyond our fears.
Jairus, a leader in the synagogue, begs Jesus to come and heal his child. Jairus had faith that Jesus could heal his daughter and says: “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.” Jesus responds to his appeals and follows him.
Similarly, the unnamed woman has faith in Jesus and the moment she touches him she is made well. When Jesus asks, “Who touched me?” she acknowledges that it was she and, like Jairus, “fell down before him.” Jesus says, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Mark holds up both Jairus and the unnamed woman in today’s Gospel as models of faith. The message of the two healings is clear: “Do not be afraid; have faith.”
Jairus and the sick woman were motivated by their trust in Jesus' mercy and power. Each has to overcome their own fear (5:33, 36) to seek for His mercy.
And so we ask ourselves: What did the sick woman risk when she came up behind Jesus in the crowd and touched his garment? What did Jairus risk? Does my faith in Jesus also put me in the same situation? Have I experienced being healed by Jesus or do I wish for healing from Jesus?