Flowers in Church

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – 30 June 2024

In today’s Gospel, we encounter two powerful miracle stories intertwined, each demonstrating the profound compassion and authority of Jesus. The first narrative unfolds as Jairus, a synagogue leader, desperately seeks Jesus’ help for his dying daughter. Despite societal norms dictating the rigid separation between religious leaders like Jairus and a controversial figure like Jesus, Jairus disregards these barriers, acknowledging Jesus as the potential saviour of his beloved child.

As Jesus embarks on this urgent journey to Jairus’ home, a woman suffering from chronic bleeding courageously reaches out in faith, believing that even a mere touch of Jesus’ garment could bring about her healing. This act challenges the prevailing taboos of the time, as her condition would have rendered her ritually unclean and socially ostracized. Yet, her faith transcends societal limitations, and Jesus not only heals her physically but also commends her for her faith, affirming her as a beloved daughter of God.

Meanwhile, Jairus’ daughter succumbs to death, prompting mourners to dismiss Jesus’ assertion that she is merely asleep. Undeterred, Jesus enters her room, takes her by the hand, and with a simple command, “Talitha koum” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up”), restores her to life. In both instances, whether through touch or word, Jesus’ healing power is manifested, underscoring his divine authority over sickness and death.

These miracle stories resonate beyond their historical context, speaking to the enduring power of faith and the transformative nature of encountering Jesus. They invite reflection on our own willingness to break through societal taboos and barriers to pursue healing and restoration, whether for ourselves or others. Like Jairus and the woman with the haemorrhage, do we have the courage to defy societal expectations and approach Jesus with unwavering faith, trusting in his ability to bring about transformation?

Moreover, these narratives challenge us to consider how we perceive and respond to those on the margins of society – the sick, the outcast, the marginalized. Jesus’ willingness to engage with and heal those deemed untouchable or unworthy compels us to examine our own attitudes and actions toward the marginalized in our midst, prompting us to emulate his radical love and compassion.

Through these miracle stories, we encounter not merely isolated acts of healing, but profound revelations of Jesus’ identity as the Son of God and his mission to bring about wholeness and restoration to all who approach him in faith.

Fr Stephen Berecz

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