Restoration of Life.
Last Sunday we meditated on storms in life, and we were reminded God is with us. This Sunday readings invite us to meditate on life: suffering, healing, and death. The first reading begins with “God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.” Then the question comes ‘where does death come from?’ We read in the book of Genesis, “The LORD God gave the man this order: You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden, except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; when you eat from it you shall die (2:16&17).” When they ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, God said to them, “By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust, you shall return Genesis 3:19.” In Romans 5:12, we read, “Just as through one person sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all, in as much as all sinned.” God created a life for immortality, but the devil brought death into the world. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus came to restore the creation.
We have the Gospel of Mark 5:21-43 about the healing of the Jairus’ daughter, and the woman who was afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. Both miracles show Jesus’ power over physical sickness. These both accounts are linked by figures of twelve. Jairus’ daughter was twelve years old, and the woman was sick for twelve years. Both needed healing.
Jairus requested to lay Jesus’ hand on her daughter and heal. Laying hands is an act of healing in the Bible. We read in the Acts of the Apostles 9:17&18, “So, Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized.” There are many other passages that show the laying of hands leads to healing. When Jairus got the message about the death of her daughter, Jesus encourages him to have faith. Jesus’ mercy touches the distressed and brought the little girl to life.
The woman who was suffering for twelve years from hemorrhages receiving healing by touching Jesus' garments secretly. Why did she touch him secretly? Book of Leviticus 15:25-30 explains the law a woman who has a flow of blood she should follow, should follow. The book of Leviticus says, “Anyone who touches them becomes unclean; that person shall wash his garments, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening (15:27).” Based on this law, made Jesus unclean. Instead of scolding her for her action, Jesus praises her faith.
In the second reading, St. Paul teaches Corinthians the self-emptying example of Jesus. Jesus embraces poverty to make us rich. Then Paul invites Corinthians and now us to share with others who are in need of our blessings. The charitable service Paul is promoting is seen briefly and in passing within the perspective of Paul’s theology of the charisms.
The readings invite us to reflect on our own faith journey. Jesus came to restore the creation, humanity. He did though heal the sick, raising the dead, liberating the imprisoned, and so on. Ultimately, he restored humanity through his passion, death, and resurrection. Through baptism, Jesus entrusts his ministry to us. It is not an easy one, but through Sacraments and especially thorough Eucharist, Jesus gives us nourishment to continue his ministry in our daily life. Let us come and celebrate the Eucharist as a community, then let us take with us the gift he shares, and share with one another in our daily life.