First Reading: Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Because God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. For he created all things that they might exist, and the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them; and the dominion of Hades is not on earth. For righteousness is immortal. for God created man for incorruption, and made him in the image of his own eternity, but through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his party experience it.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13
I will extol thee, O LORD, for thou hast drawn me up, and hast not let my foes rejoice over me. O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit. Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me! O LORD, be thou my helper!” Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may praise thee and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
Now as you excel in everything — in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in your love for us — see that you excel in this gracious work also. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their want, so that their abundance may supply your want, that there may be equality. As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”
Gospel: Mark 5:21-43
And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him; and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Ja’irus by name; and seeing him, he fell at his feet, and besought him, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well.” And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, `Who touched me?'” And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth.And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, he saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a tumult and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Tal’itha cu’mi”; which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and walked (she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
So much pain.
In today’s Gospel, the pain is palpable, isn’t it? The anguish of the man whose daughter is on the brink of death . . . the desperate woman who has been bleeding for twelve years without relief of any kind.
We all have it—pain that we carry deep within ourselves. Maybe your wound happened long ago, when you were young and innocent and yet it has never been able to heal. Or maybe yours is a freshly inflicted wound brought on by a careless word or thoughtless deed. Perhaps, you just haven’t yet been able to forgive yourself.
Sometimes the pain in our own lives can feel like it’s just too much to bear. “Take this cup from me, Lord!” we plead when we can find words to speak aloud. Or, when words fail, we search for relief wherever it may be found. Maybe we’ve even believed, as the hemorrhaging woman: “If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well.” But, for some reason, we can’t get close enough to touch Him. We are ashamed. Or we don’t think He can be bothered with our small suffering. Could it be that we believe He is so far removed from us that we just cannot make it to Him? Are we too weary to hope that lasting relief is possible, and so we bury the pain down deep, trying to march on with our lives?
In the first reading, we are reminded that God Himself did not make death, and that He doesn’t delight in the death of the living. He made us so we would have life—that we would be clean, be well, be whole—but . . . do we actually believe His words?
He wants to take my sin? He wants to take my grief? He wants to take the wounds inflicted upon me time and time again from those closest to me? He forgives me for the times I have hurt myself?
My sister, the answer is, simply, yes!
What would happen if you trusted just enough—in this present moment—to offer Jesus the pain, the suffering, the burden you’ve been holding on to? What would He say? Saint Mark’s Gospel gives us a good idea: “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” Or perhaps, “Tal’itha cu’mi,” that is, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”[Tweet “He made us so we would have life, but do we actually believe His words?”]
Dearest Jesus, my Savior and my Lord, please help me to give You all of myself today, including my deepest wounds, sufferings, and pain. Help me to accept Your invitation to arise and walk ever more faithfully along Your path. Amen.
Heather Renshaw is a writer, speaker, and uplifter on a mission to love and serve God with her husband and five children in the Pacific NW. You can learn more abut her here.