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Jesus longs for close relationship with us
Based on Wis 1:13-15, 2:23-24; 2 Cor 8:7-9, 13-15; Mk 5:21-43
Throughout the Gospels, notice how often Jesus uses his hands to heal the sick – definitely a “hands on” approach. Some examples are Jesus curing the leper (Mt 8:3) and Jesus curing the blind man at Bethsaida (Mk 8:23).
In today’s Gospel, two beautiful stories are told. Jairus, a synagogue official, is overcome with sorrow and concern for his 12-year-old daughter who is dying. He approaches Jesus, falls at his feet, and says, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”
On the way, a large crowd follows Jesus. An unnamed woman who suffered with hemorrhages for 12 years sneaks up behind Jesus and puts her hand on his cloak. She had tried many doctors for help and used up all of her savings. Thinking to herself, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” She is.
Jesus stops and asks, “Who has touched my clothes?”
Jesus asked the question because he wanted people to understand the woman’s faith brought about her cure, not a “magic” touch of his clothes.
Trembling, the woman kneels before Jesus and tells him the truth.
Jesus smiles at her and says loud enough for all to hear, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
At Jairus’ house, Jairus is told his daughter has died. Jesus says, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
Jesus takes the girl’s hand and says to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl rises immediately and walks around. Jesus tells the happy parents to give her something to eat.
Why didn’t Jesus cure the woman without her having to touch him, or why did Jesus go all the way to Jairus’ house instead of bringing the girl back to life from a distance? It is because Jesus longs for a close relationship with us and to live in friendship with us.
As human beings we need spiritual and physical contact. Thus, we encounter Jesus through the church, liturgy and sacraments. Jesus is always at our side.
We fold our hands in prayer, asking Jesus’ help for others and ourselves.
We receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in holy Communion, which increases Christ’s life of grace in us. In turn, we are to use our hands as Jesus’ instruments to share his love and mercy with others.