Touch Him And Be Cured!

Weekly Missionary Reflection
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 27 June 2021

Wis. 1:13-15; 2:23-24; Ps. 30:2,4,5-6,11,12a,13b; 2Cor. 8:7,9,13-15; Mark 5:21-43 (Mark 5:21-24,35-43)

This is a sandwich pattern, one of Mark’s favorite style . A story is begun, interrupted by another story, then the initial story is continued again. Today’s Gospel is also begun with a story. A male character is shown first, with his complete name: Jairus. He is a high rank man: the head of synagogue. That honorable status is repeated throughout this story (v. 22, 23, 35, 36, 38). No wonder he can see Jesus in person and has direct conversation with Him. Nevertheless the story of this honorable man is interrupted by an anonymous woman. Let us learn how to be faithful from this woman.

She is presented not by her name, but through her suffering. She is physically sick: 12 years of hemorrhage. As human can not live without blood, this long hemorrhage has practically made her like a living corpse. She also suffers psychologically: ashamed of being considered as the source of impurity (cf. Lev. 15:19-31). This illness will also make her unable to bear a child. This is the biggest disgrace for a woman of her time. She also suffers economically: she has spent all she has for the treatment from many physicians, and she is no better but grows worse. Does she just accept all this suffering as it is? Not at all! Among the crowd, she makes up her mind. The Torah forbids an unclean person from touching and mingling in the society. But her belief in Jesus breaks her obedience to her religion. She took the risk: touching Jesus’ cloak (v. 27, 28, 30, 31).

The forbidden touch is bearing fruit: Jesus stops, at the same time He stops her bleeding. She is healed instantly and becomes healthy. But Jesus does not just stop at the physical healing. He would like to end her status of being anonymous and isolated. This woman must be challenged to come out from the crowd and show up herself. She can not keep on being anonymous and hiding. Not only touching behind Him and then disappear in the crowd. Jesus wants a personal and open encountering. The faith in Jesus’ power that heals, not the magical power of His cloak. Thus, the woman “comes in fear, falls down before him, and tells Him the whole truth” (v. 33). When she presents herself, her status changes instantly. She was anonymous, but now she is called “My daughter”. She is greeted as a person, as the member of Jesus’ family. She is no longer a silent and “unseen” person. Now she appears, speaks up and is given the status of a child. She becomes an independent subject, not an avoided object anymore. She comes home with the feeling of being honored. She is honored as a person who deserves to be heard and greeted.

Mark on purpose presents this woman before Jairus reaches his home. This woman teaches Jairus, you and me to keep believing: keep trying to “touch” and reach Jesus in any hopeless situations. She teaches you and me to never stay anonymous and live for our own sake. Faith means getting out of a mass silence and comfort. Faith always means daring to take risk and initiative: showing ourselves and testifying about Jesus’ healing and setting me free.

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
The Beauty of Marriage: Let us pray for the young people who are preparing their marriage with the support from Christian community, may they grow in love, having generosity, loyalty and patience. We pray…

For Indonesian Churches intention:
Social media activists and users: May all media social activists and users be blessed with virtues to keep speading the positive things and be sent away from the the things that is detrimental to oneself, family or society. We pray…

Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
Please give us a heart like the Son of Joseph, to sincerely take part in building the community of the Faith in our family and community. We pray…

Amen

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