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Gospel reflection

June 27, 2021: Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel Reading

Mark 5:21-24, 35b-43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughters is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live. He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.

While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.


Jesus knew this very public display of humility and faith in him would cost this synagogue official dearly. Jairus, of course no longer cared about his status. He knew, without a doubt, Jesus had the power to heal and if he would just lay hands on his daughter she would “get well and live.” When Jesus went with him, without any hesitation, his relief and gratitude must have been overwhelming.

And then the devastating news came. They were too late. If only …

Jairus still believed that Jesus could have healed his daughter, but now he feared going home to what was ahead of him. Jesus tells him: “Don’t be afraid, just believe,” and together they enter the chaos.

Jairus knew the power of life over death belonged only to God. And yet, right there in his own home, Jesus the healer had done something only God has the power to do. Mark tells us Jairus and his wife were “utterly astounded.” They were so paralyzed with awe and wonder that Jesus had to remind them their daughter was alive and needed something to eat.


What does “do not fear, only believe” say to you at this moment in your life? Are they words of comfort, encouragement or maybe challenge?

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Sara Bennett

Sara Bennett

Sara is a Providence Associate and became acquainted with the Sisters of Providence while obtaining a master's in Pastoral Theology degree at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She lives in Machesney Park, Illinois and currently provides a helping hand to folks who are homebound, facilitates a parish prayer group and is part of a group ministry that delivers food from her parish pantry to senior living facilities. Sara retired in 2015 after 30 years with The Boeing Company.

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