Gospel Reflection for 13th Sunday Ordinary Time Year B – June 28th 2015
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
When Jesus had crossed in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered round him and he stayed by the lakeside. Then one of the synagogue officials came up, Jairus by name, and seeing him, fell at his feet and pleaded with him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter is desperately sick. Do come and lay your hands on her to make her better and save her life.’ Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed him; they were pressing all round him.
Now there was a woman who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years; after long and painful treatment under various doctors, she had spent all she had without being any the better for it, in fact, she was getting worse. She had heard about Jesus, and she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his cloak. ‘If I can touch even his clothes,’ she had told herself ‘I shall be well again.’ And the source of the bleeding dried up instantly, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint. Immediately aware that power had gone out from him Jesus turned round in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ His disciples said to him, ‘You see how the crowd is pressing round you and yet you say, “Who touched me?” , But he continued to look all round to see who had done it. Then the woman came forward, frightened and trembling because she knew what had happened to her, and she fell at his feet and told him the whole truth. ‘My daughter,’ he said ‘your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free from your complaint.’
While he was still speaking some people arrived from the house of the synagogue official to say, ‘Your daughter is dead: why put the Master to any further trouble?’ But Jesus had overheard this remark of theirs and he said to the official, ‘Do not be afraid; only have faith.’ And he allowed no one to go with him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. So they came to the official’s house and Jesus noticed all the commotion, with people weeping and wailing unrestrainedly. He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and crying? The child is not dead, but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. So he turned them all out and, taking with him the child’s father and mother and his own companions, he went into the place where the child lay. And taking the child by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha, kum!’ which means, ‘.’Little girl I tell you to get up.’ The little girl got up at once and began to walk about, for she was twelve years old. At this they were overcome with astonishment, and he ordered them strictly not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.
A man had an addictive habit in his life. He said: “It took me a long time, and countless failures, to realize that you can’t change your life simply by willpower. You can only change it by grace and community.” Alcoholics Anonymous has always known this. Not enough just to have willpower. Only by touching some higher power, and this is most easily done inside a community, can we actually change our lives.
Community of Healing
Seems to be the gospel today. Grace went out from Jesus and healing. And it happened in the community of the disciples and family. A young girl had died – the beginning of her mature life. An older lady who had been ill for years. The big ministry of Jesus was for healing and he healed where others did not – among women. People brought people to him, people prayed for each other as we do today, as the community of healing.
The Church needs to rediscover this. Our liturgies can be so individualistic – even how we sit separately, and often ‘pray our own thing’. The Mass is our Mass, not mine, not yours. The people at the house of Jairus and the disciples around the woman today were together in faith and in prayer. We cannot be Christians on our own. Faith is personal but not private. Our gatherings need more of the communal faith.
Ordinary ways too – even a hello on the street, an enquiry about a worry, a helping hand in many ways bring the healing love of Jesus as it was brought to the people then.
Donal Neary SJ