Home » Gospel Reflections » June 30, 2024: Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel reflection

June 30, 2024: Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel: Mark 5:21-43 or 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 daughter 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.

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.”

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.


Today’s Gospel presents a beautiful tapestry of interwoven threads of hope and fear. Two individuals, Jairus, a synagogue leader, and a nameless woman with a 12-year illness, encounter Jesus; their contrasting situations highlight the complexities of human emotions in the face of adversity.

Jarius has a position of authority and demands a certain demeanor, yet he approaches Jesus with a plea for his dying daughter and falls at the feet of his only Hope.

This hope doesn’t dissipate when others arrive to tell him it’s too late and the cause is lost. (If only I had the grace to remember that Jesus is just as present with me as he was with Jarius saying, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”).

The unnamed woman, on the other hand, embodies quiet hope tinged with fear. All the “normal” and usual options have failed her. She had been drained of resources, energy, dignity, and her very being. Yet, she reaches out to Jesus, not with a demand, but with a desperate touch, believing his power can heal her. She goes beyond hope to a trusting faith, but she holds onto the fear that so many others have only exacerbated within her.

Jesus responds to both with compassion. I don’t believe he was the slightest bit angry when he asked who touched him; he didn’t want to miss the opportunity to show love to someone in need.

He underscores for us that healing, compassion, love, hope, and faith are all dependent upon relationships, not something we can slip in quietly, take advantage of, and disappear again unseen.

I’ve heard it said a number of times that people in Scripture are often unnamed not because they lack importance but to give us an opportunity to insert ourselves into the story more easily. I’ve known the fear of Jarius, and I’ve known the desperation of the woman.

Life’s challenges are different for each of us but there’s certainly no absence of them in our lives. Fear and despair are natural reactions.

However, it is hope, expressed here in different ways, that compels them (and us) to reach out to Jesus. Jarius’ hope is vocal and urgent, while the woman’s is a more quiet, semi-private act. Both demonstrate a willingness to believe and give themselves over to something greater than themselves.

Ultimately, we’re reading a dual account of encouragement; in the face of overwhelming fear, hope, however small, can and should move us to reach out.

We, then, shouldn’t only reach out when we’re in the position of Jarius or the woman, but we should also be constantly reaching out as members of the crowd, finding Jarius or the woman in our midst and helping bridge the gap between hope and fear, making it easier for them to find healing.


Can I identify those times where I need to reach out for help and make the bold move to do so? Can I offer a hand of encouragement to others who may need one?

Share this:

Brad Crites

Brad Crites

Brad Crites is a Providence Associate and former webmaster and adjunct faculty member at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. He specializes in teaching and learning as well as organizational culture and change dynamics. He is committed to philanthropy and community development as a Lilly Scholar Alumnus. He currently works for Purdue University as an Educational Technology Consultant. Brad lives with his wife, Tiffany, and their children, Brooklyn and Brett, on their historic family farm near Solsberry, Indiana.

Subscribe to the weekly Gospel reflection

Sign up to receive the weekly Gospel reflection in your inbox each week.

Meet Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

Leader, teacher, immigrant, healer. Saint of God.

Learn more


  1. Avatar Deb Griffey on July 1, 2024 at 8:44 am

    Thank you for this reflection, Brad. One of my favorite passages is regarding the woman who touched his cloak. Not only her faith, but Jesus’ recognition that someone had touched him, that power had gone out from him. It is a reminder to us what is available to us every day.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.