July 1, 2018: Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading: Mark 5:25-35
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.”
Can you imagine being sick and in pain for years and years? Giving everything you have to anyone who has an idea to help only to find that nothing has worked? One wanders the world even more alone and afraid. That is the situation the woman with the hemorrhages faced.
Somehow, despite all the answers of no and all she had suffered, deep within her she never lost sight of the possibility of a miracle.
The woman secretly approaches Jesus. She is perhaps ashamed of her condition. Perhaps even another no will be easier for her to bear if no one else knows she asked for the help. She so deeply wishes to be healed. She reaches out and touches Jesus’ clothing.
Even as she is grateful and experiences joy at realizing God has granted her request for healing, Jesus turns and demands to know who touched Him. For a horrible second an icy fear grips her heart. Will the healer Jesus take back the healing because she did not ask properly? Should she speak up or just run away?
Ready to accept the consequences, she steps forward admitting it was she who received the healing. She kneels before Jesus accepting the possible loss of such a precious gift.
Jesus says, “Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
Things in life are not always what they seem. The disciples take Jesus at face value on the question of who touched His clothes. However, Jesus had allowed healing to freely flow from Him. Jesus did not need an answer from anyone as to who was cured. Jesus already knew who was aided.
So why did Jesus ask? One could suggest that Jesus wished the world to know the woman was healed. That way society would be ready to accept her as healed. I believe it goes deeper than that. Jesus gave the woman a chance to choose to go through life with a clear conscience regarding her healing or thinking she had somehow stolen the healing. With the woman’s honesty in stepping forward, Jesus’ gift of healing reached even deeper within her. It has been said that there is no softer pillow than a clear conscience.
Notice Jesus’ choice of words. He says, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
The gift the woman received depended upon how open she was to receive it. Today we should ask ourselves how open we are to receive God’s love. Are we as open as we can be?
This week let us reflect upon our life. Let’s each find one miracle God worked in our life. Spend some time in thanksgiving for that gift. Afterwards, share that miracle tale with a friend. Listen to his/her miracle tale.