Sunday Readings: Wisdom 1.13-15, 2.23-24; 2 Corinthians 8.7, 9, 13-15; Mark 5.21-43
Jesus took the girl by the hand, saying, “Talitha cum, Little girl, arise.”
The Gospel has two daughters of faith. A girl of 12 near death whose dad begs Jesus for help. A woman whose hemorrhaging has lasted 12 years. If she lived today, she’d be filing for bankruptcy because of her medical bills.
The Gospel calls her bleeding a scourge, the same word used to describe Jesus’ bloody beating at the hands of Roman soldiers. The word identifies her suffering with Jesus’ suffering. When the woman risks everything to touch Jesus’ life-giving power and she’s healed, she tells the whole truth of what happened to her in the midst of the crowd. She preaches and gives witness. This is when Jesus calls her, “Daughter,” and affirms “your faith has healed you.”
This Gospel is a death and resurrection story. Jesus raises the girl to life when to all appearances she’s dead. Jesus’ command to the girl, “Arise,” is the same word Mark’s gospel uses to announce, “Jesus is risen.” Peter, James, and John witness the this healing. In Mark’s gospel they don’t witness Jesus’ death and resurrection but they do witness this life-giving miracle.
These two daughters of faith challenge us to identify the sufferings in our lives with Jesus’ suffering and to live Jesus’ call to arise and live the gospel.
To what new life do you hear you should arise?
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