I cheated. This week I had a conversation with a wonderful priest who gave me his insightful observations regarding this Sunday’s gospel from Mark. I will try to share those with you, though I’m certain that I won’t be able to do so as eloquently. Here goes:
First of all, the priest asked me if I noticed how the gospel was kind of segmented – It begins with Jarius, cuts to the bleeding woman, then goes back to Jarius. I told him that I did find that odd – like the bleeding woman was almost an after thought in Mark’s retelling of these miracles. Father said that he thought that the events occurred (and were retold) in this order for a reason.
We are like Jarius. We want (at one time or another) help from Jesus – a miracle! Jesus doesn’t cure Jarius’ daughter right away, though He certainly could have. He invites Jarius to JOURNEY with Him – to walk the walk. While on the journey, they come upon the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years.
Her faith was so great that she KNEW that if only she could touch the hem of Jesus’ tunic she would be healed – and she was healed immediately. The purpose of this (perhaps) was to show Jarius (and us) what is possible through faith and through total trust and reliance upon Jesus. Jarius (likely) was awed by the scene, and this filled him with hope for what Jesus could do for his own daughter.
THEN the synagogue official (or in our lives – the devil) swoops in to annihilate all hope – to tempt us to despair. This happens in life, doesn’t it? – a lot!! The official tells Jarius “not to trouble the teacher any longer.” The devil tells US not to persevere in prayer – to give up. Jesus says, “DO NOT BE AFRAID! Just have faith!” He travels to Jarius’ house. He puts out all of the nay sayers. Then Jesus takes the little girl by the hand and tells her to arise.
I find it interesting that the woman bled for 12 years and that the little girl was 12 years old. Do you know that the #12 is used at least 187 times in the bible? Theologians believe that the use of the #12 in the bible meant completeness, authority or perfection. I’m not really sure how this applies here???
Fast forward to 2015:
All one has to do is turn on the television to see example after example of tremendous violence in our world today… There are many opportunities for temptations to “go with the crowd” and to live life “the easy way…” Our Church is divided… Our world is divided with nay sayers shouting opposition to our Christian beliefs. All of this can become quite overwhelming and gravely discouraging sometimes. We must put ourselves in the place of the 12-year-old girl in Mark’s gospel and allow Jesus to take us by the hand. Hear Him say to you, “Do not be afraid. Just have faith!” Remember that this is not our permanent home. Everything is passing. Everything and everyone. Just lift your eyes toward heaven and MARCH ON!
This reminds me of a song my momma used to play when I was a little girl – WALK ON by Tammy Wynette. I knew Tammy had to be singing about Jesus when she said, “Walk on with hope in your heart …and you’ll never walk alone.”
Here’s another beautiful version of “Walk On” by Susan Boyle.