February 4, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Mark 5:21-43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat
to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
“My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him
and a large crowd followed him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to him,
“You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, Who touched me?”
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

While he was still speaking,
people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said,
“Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
“Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child’s father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,”
which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.

Reflection (Sem. Jul Elden Nuique):

     In today’s Gospel, we witness the Lord Jesus as a man of action and boundless energy.  From one place to the next, with hordes of adorers pressing in on Him, He heals people left and right, His power drawn off by the faithful.  The hemorrhagic woman is cured and even the seemingly dead child is brought back to life.  Our God does not complain even if His tasks pile up one atop another in simultaneous urgency.  No case is hopeless or unworthy of His attention; He is completely and unconditionally available.

     This trait of Jesus is truly worth emulating.  How many times have we turned down requests for help because we feel too tired or too busy?  Perhaps we can examine whether we are truly tired or if we are only too tired to care.  In the Gospels, Jesus eats, rests, and sleeps like us; yet, unlike us, when He is awake, He makes the most of His time to serve other people, especially the outcasts of society.

     I am the first to admit that more often than not I am simply too lazy to help other people, even though I am still physically able.  I often look out for myself, even to the point of prioritizing my comfort over the other person’s needs.  This is something that I am vigilant against, to be a better imitator of Christ.

     Let us all emulate this inexhaustibility of the Lord Jesus for the service of humankind.  This is one of the best ways to concretely show our love for God and for our neighbor.

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