Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 2 Sam 18:9-10, 14b, 24-25a,30—19:3
Absalom unexpectedly came up against David’s servants. He was mounted on a mule, and, as the mule passed under the branches of a large terebinth, his hair caught fast in the tree. He hung between heaven and earth while the mule he had been riding ran off. Someone saw this and reported to Joab that he had seen Absalom hanging from a terebinth. And taking three pikes in hand, he thrust for the heart of Absalom, still hanging from the tree alive. Now David was sitting between the two gates, and a lookout went up to the roof of the gate above the city wall, where he looked about and saw a man running all alone. The lookout shouted to inform the king, who said, “If he is alone, he has good news to report.” The king said, “Step aside and remain in attendance here.” So he stepped aside and remained there. When the Cushite messenger came in, he said, “Let my lord the king receive the good news that this day the LORD has taken your part, freeing you from the grasp of all who rebelled against you.” But the king asked the Cushite, “Is young Absalom safe?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rebel against you with evil intent be as that young man!” The king was shaken, and went up to the room over the city gate to weep. He said as he wept, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!” Joab was told that the king was weeping and mourning for Absalom; and that day’s victory was turned into mourning for the whole army when they heard that the king was grieving for his son.
Gospel: Mk 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.
GOD THE FATHER LOVES US MORE THAN OUR PARENTS DO: Absalom son of King David wanted to usurp hos father’s kingship and so started fighting him. However, when he was finally defeated and was killed wile in escape, David weeped to the surprise of his friends. He mourned his son saying, “Absalom my son, Absalom my son”. In the Gospel, Jairus whose daughter was at the point of death approached Jesus and falling at his feet earnestly pleaded asking him to cure his daughter. Arriving at the house, Jesus raised the dead girl to life with the words, “Little girl I tell you arise”. The love of the two fathers for their children represents the unconditional love of God the Father even when we, his children, turn against him or fall sick due to sin. God the Father calls us by the first name and says, “……. my son/daughter”, and “I tell you arise”.
Prayer: My heavenly Father, help me to recognize your unfailing love and never depart from you.
SAIL ON THE WINGS OF FAITH: Faith is a powerful vehicle having power to carry its passengers far. The woman with hemorrhage demonstrates intense faith; she only touches the cloak of Jesus. With this act, she oversteps the rule of not being able to be in public. No law can stop her surge of faith. Though not a mistress in religious matters, she knows what trust in God can do. Jesus acclaims her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you”.She teaches us how to approach God who may appear in motion. She teaches us to be alert to God’s pace. To avoid missing God, let us sail in the wings of faith. Let us encounter our God who is alive in us; God who is ever-present. May our practice of religion and spiritual exercises help us to see him alive within and without.
FAITH TRULY MATTERS: In all his miracles, Jesus insists people to have faith. When the healing took place for the woman suffering from hemorrhages and the healing of the blind man, he told them that it was their faith that healed them (Mk5:34, 10:52). In today´s Gospel Jesus insists the centurion, “Just have faith” (Mk 5: 36). Therefore, he advises his followers to believe before asking in prayer (Mk11:26). When Jesus tells the centurion to only believe, he invites him to be hopeful for the life of his daughter. When the lady with the hemorrhages lost all her hope in the material possessions for her recovery, she believed in her heart that she would be healed only by touching the fringe of the mantle of Jesus. The call to be led by faith amidst the ups and downs of our daily lives is to be optimistic. It is to form our inner self with a power of positive thinking based in God´s providence that he will not abandon us. This will lead us to see light despite darkness, to find life in death, to enjoy good health in spite of sickness and to smile at the hardships with the hope that Jesus will not abandon us (Phil 4:13). How do you live your faith to grow in the power of positive thinking?