The woman who had suffered from a haemorrhage of blood for 12 years was considered an outcast in her society. The culture she lived in considered her contaminated and everything she touched contaminated. So for 12 long years she had lived in misery, isolated and hidden away from society. In the same culture the 12 year old daughter of Jairus, because she was a girl child, was ranked beneath donkeys. It was on these two people that Jesus lavished his attention and healing energy in today’s gospel.

Jesus could have ignored the woman, knowing she had been healed. And he could have said to Jairus, “Go home, your daughter is well again.”This, however, wasn’t how Jesus worked. In almost all of his healing miracles he engaged with the person.

As soon as Jesus felt “power going out of him” that same instant she knew she was healed. Recognising the strong chemistry between them, he sought her out. It wasn’t enough for Jesus that she was physically healed he wanted to help her reintegrate into society. So he recognised her, listened intently as she poured out her soul and then acclaimed her before the crowds for her great faith. Then instead of slinking home dancing inside with joy at her sudden cure, we can imagine her throwing off the dark cloak of fear and humiliation that had covered her for so many years and dancing with those around her.

It is the same with the daughter of Jairus: Jesus takes her by the hand, speaks to her and then helps her get back to normal life with the simple words, “give her something to eat.”He told those weeping and wailing that she was only asleep. Perhaps he didn’t want her, from such a young age, to be described as “The one Jesus raised from the dead”

Jesus isn’t physically around today but we are. Before he ascended to Heaven he said of us who are baptised: “In my name they will lay their hands upon the sick who will recover”. We have Jesus’ gift of healing. And in this Gospel story he shows us how to use it: Through personal encounters; recognising the person; listening deeply; touching if appropriate; affirmation; and of course deep Faith.

“God has no body now but yours” (Teresa of Avila). If we really believed that and lived it, as so many do, what a number of healing miracles would be experienced by those we encounter. So many could exclaim with the woman in today’s Gospel:

“From, ah, so deep a place,

my sorrow and anguish tumbled out

before the Sunlight.

Which, gathering up my grief,

absorbed it,

leaving me

Resurrected.

Alive!    (Edwina Gately)

 

 

 

Marie Redmond, OP