13th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Wis 1:13–15; 2:23–24
God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. Since he has created everything, all creatures of the universe are for our good; there is no deadly poison in them and the netherworld has no dominion over the earth, because immortal is not submitted to death. Indeed God created man to be immortal in the likeness of his own nature, but the envy of the devil brought death to the world, and those who take his side shall experience death.
2nd Reading: 2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13–15
You excel in everything: in the gifts of faith, speech and knowledge; you feel concern for every cause and, besides, you are first in my heart. Excel also in this generous service.
You know well the generosity of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Although he was rich, he made himself poor to make you rich through his poverty.
I do not mean that others should be at ease and you burdened. Strive for equality; at present give from your abundance what they are short of, and in some way they also will give from their abundance what you lack. Then you will be equal and what Scripture says shall come true: To the one who had much, nothing was in excess; to the one who had little, nothing was lacking.
Gospel: Mk 5:21–43
Jesus then crossed to the other side of the lake and while he was still on the shore, a large crowd gathered around him. Jairus, an official of the synagogue, came up and seeing Jesus, threw himself at his feet and asked him earnestly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her so that she may get well and live.”
Jesus went with him and many people followed, pressing from every side. Among the crowd was a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a lot at the hands of many doctors and had spent everything she had, but instead of getting better, she was worse. Since she had heard about Jesus, this woman came up?behind him and touched his cloak thinking, “If I just touch his clothing, I shall get well.” Her flow of blood dried up at once, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her complaint.
But Jesus was conscious that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples answered, “You see how the people are crowding around you. Why do you ask who touched you?” But he kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, aware of what had happened, came forward trembling and afraid. She knelt before him and told him the whole truth.
Then Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you; go in peace and be free of this illness.”
While Jesus was still speaking, some people arrived from the official’s house to inform him, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Master any further?” But Jesus ignored what they said and told the official, “Do not fear, just believe.” And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house, Jesus saw a great commotion with people weeping and wailing loudly. Jesus entered and said to them, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”
They laughed at him. But Jesus sent them outside and went with the child’s father and mother and his companions into the room where the child lay. Taking her by the hand, he said to her, “Talitha kumi!” which means: “Little girl, get up!”
The girl got up at once and began to walk around. (She was twelve years old.) The parents were astonished, greatly astonished. Jesus strictly ordered them not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.
Faith is powerful. The faith of Jairus brought Jesus into his home and saved his daughter from death. The faith of the woman with the chronic bleeding brought her healing and a renewed lease on life. These accounts are given to us in the Gospel so that our faith might be strengthened and that we, too, might be saved from death and brought to the fullness of life.
Faith is not an abstraction. Our faith rests in a person, the person of Jesus Christ. Faith is not wishful thinking. Faith is a conviction that with God, all things are possible. Faith is not contrary to reason. Faith is the means by which our human reason is elevated so that we can know the world the way it truly is, charged with the grandeur of God.
Faith will not last forever. Faith will one day give way to sight. We will no longer need faith when we behold our God and see Him face to face. Then will our faith be vindicated. Then will we reach our faith’s goal, our salvation.
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