On that special day . . .

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

WISDOM 1:13-15; 2:23-24

God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being; and the creatures of the world are wholesome, and there is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of the netherworld on earth, for justice is undying. For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who belong to his company experience it.

2 CORINTHIANS 8:7, 9, 13-15

Brothers and sisters: As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you, may you excel in this gracious act also. For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. Not that others should have relief while you are burdened, but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their needs, so that their abundance may also supply your needs, that there may be equality. As it is written: Whoever had much did not have more, and whoever had little did not have less.

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 and pressed upon 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 Jesus, “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.

We never forget that day when we, who did not know each other before, crossed path with one another. . .

I am Jairus, the official of the synagogue. I am desperate and heart-broken. My precious daughter is ill for some time and despite my wealth and position, I cannot find a doctor that can cure her, and now she is dying. In my hopelessness, I hear that Jesus of Nazareth is at this side of the town. I have heard about Him. I know Peter and his mother-in-law. Previously, she was very sick but people said He healed her simply by a touch (rf Mk 1:30-31). I also hear that He cured the leper (rf Mk 1:40), the paralytic man (rf Mk 2:11) and the man with a withered hand (rf Mk 3:5). Just recently, I heard about the commotion in the Gerasene territory where He expelled the unclean spirit from the infamous demoniac and two thousand swines were drowned (Mk 5:8-13). I must take action now. I do not care what the big crowd would think; even if they mock me. I am determined to meet Him and I will kneel before Him. I know He can cure my daughter just by a touch. He is my only hope and I believe in Him.

I am the woman with a hemorrhage. I have suffered for twelve years and undergone every sort of treatment. People know about it and I have been ostracized. Now with my affliction getting worse, I have exhausted my savings, too. I hear about Jesus of Nazareth, the great miracle worker. He is now in town and I see Him going off with the official of the synagogue. I must hurry and waste not this opportunity but how can I, a poor wretched woman in the midst of such a large crowd, present myself before Him? I know, I will come close enough to Him and touch His cloak. I am sure I will get well just by doing that. I understand that the Law forbids me to touch anyone lest I make them unclean (rf Lev 15:19), but desperate time calls for desperate measure. I must give it a last try, hopefully with this large crowd pressing on Him, He will not notice.

There we were on that special day, blessed enough to be able to meet Jesus and both of us were granted what we hoped for. What have we learned besides being thankful and feeling fortunate? We both agree that we have learned the importance of faith and humility. Faith gives us courage to hope against hope as our Father Abraham did (rf Rm 4:18) and humility makes us realize the limitation of human capability. As you see, we have tried every human means before we come to Jesus and finally acknowledge that only God is omnipotent. We are surely lucky indeed; but we are not complacent for we believe that our stories are meant to elicit understanding from you. Do not wait until the last moment to ask for miracles; for not everyone is given such chance like us. Rather, always trust God and go to Him first, be faithful, be humble and He will bless you.

We never forget that day when we, who did not know each other before, crossed path with one another. . . not only that, our stories are now known everywhere whenever the bible is read. What a bonus, thanks be to God!

Posted: July 1, 2018

May Tam

May Tam, Bachelor of Social Science (University of Hong Kong), Master of Theological Studies (University of Toronto)

Other Sunday Reflections

God’s Laborers
Are we ready to accept the Lord’s invitation to exercise the lay apostolate and our common priesthood to become God’s “laborers” in our own different ways, each according to the… Continue Reading >
“Run so as to win”
Where does this “resoluteness” of Jesus come from? Continue Reading >
This Is My Body … This Is My Blood
When we receive Christ’s Body and Blood, we unite ourselves to Christ and bear witness to the greatest love of all. Continue Reading >