Jairus’ Daughter and the Woman with a Hemorrhage
Gary Thomas (Christianity Today, October 3, 1994, p. 26.) said that George Bush, still the Vice President, represented the U.S. A. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest made by Brezhnev’s widow. She stood motionless by the side of the coffin before it was closed and carried by the soldiers, performed an act of great courage and hope. She reached down and made the sign of the cross on her husband’s chest. This gesture was considered as an act of civil disobedience. It was said that the wife of the man with secular and atheistic power hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life and that that life was best represented by Jesus who died on the cross and that the same Jesus might have mercy on her husband.
Two persons in today’s gospel approach Jesus and ask Him to do something for them. The synagogue official asks Jesus to lay His hands on his dying child and the elderly woman to let Jesus cure her of her hemorrhages for twelve years. What makes them draw to Jesus? Is it a hope for miracle or a word of comfort in their affliction? It is both. Jesus gives them hope, and especially to people with desperate or helpless circumstances, where there seems to be no human cause for it because His hope is directed to God. He speaks words of hope to them. To the woman he says: “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
Jesus also gave divine hope to a father who had just lost a beloved child. He is considerably courageous to go to Jesus and even to receive the scorn of his neighbors and kin. Even hired mourners laugh at him in scorn and their grief is devoid of any hope. But Jesus proves them wrong and takes the girl by the hand and delivers her from the grasp of death. Peter Chrysologus, a 5th century church father comments on this miracle: “This man was a ruler of the synagogue and versed in the law. He had surely read that while God created all other things by his word, man had been created by the hand of God. He trusted therefore in God that his daughter would be recreated and restored to life by that same hand which, he knew, had created her…He who laid hands on her to form her from nothing, once more lays hands upon her to reform her from what had perished.”
Hope is essential for Christian life. We have a right and a duty to be confident that God, who has loved us and called us to eternal life, will never abandon us. Catechism of the Catholic Church says to us that at Baptism God plants in every Christian the theological virtue of hope (CCC 1813). The hope that Christians are given is a divine gift. It is not a shallow human wishing but a sure confidence that God Himself gives us power to exercise. His grace calls us to make acts of hope, truthfully speaking the confidence in Him that He wishes us to have. He invites all to make their lives more strong and glad by refusing ever to cease hoping in Him (CCC 1818).
Do we approach the Lord with expectant faith or hope?
OPTION 01, 02, 03,