We should put ourselves at the side of Jesus through this day in Capernaum.

Tuesday, 2/4/14

The Gospel story invites us to get next to Jesus, observing him closely. On this day when someone caught sight of him coming into Capernaum by boat, the word spread, and a crowd gathered to listen to him. As he was speaking to them, a man named Jairus, an official of their synagogue, worked his way through the crowd.

He interrupted Our Lord’s words to urge his case.  My daughter is at the point of death. Please come and put your hands on her so that she might get well and llive.”  I resent it when someone interrupts my fine flow of words. Jesus, though, meekly followed the man.

As the crowd accompanying Jesus and Jairus moved along, a woman worked her way up close. For a dozen years she had been invalided by a flow of blood that took her happiness and all her money. As well, it made her unclean in the sight of the law. That kept her from attending the synagogue, and it also made anyone who touched her ritually unclean. So, she couldn’t touch Jesus, or get him to touch her; but the power of goodness surrounding him was so strong that she thought it would cure her if she could just touch his cloak.  

She did touch him, and an unaccustomed feeling of full health coursed through her body. We are hearing this story as it was reported by St. Mark, and he sometimes added a little drama to his stories. The way he tells it, Jesus felt the healing power go out from him, and he halted, waiting for the one who touched him to come forward.  We must admire his kindness in giving the woman credit for her cure, saying, “Daughter, it is your own faith that has cured you.”    

When they had moved on to the house of Jairus the child had just died, and they found the crowd making a commotion. At the place where someone had just died people would make a racket to scare away demons gathered to snatch the dying person’s soul as it left the body.

Jesus told them that the girls was merely sleeping, but the crowd said they knew better. Jesus made them vacate the house, then, he took the child by the hand, lifting her up. Another thing that Mark does is to give us the actual Aramaic words of Jesus. “Little girl. Arise. Tlitha koum.”

The twelve-year-old got up, and walked around, and Jesus told her mother to give her something to eat.  

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