From a Creighton Student's Perspective
January 31, 2012
Sophomore, Theology Major
Today’s Gospel reading has always been one of my favorites from Mark. Both the healing of Jairus’ daughter and the healing of the woman afflicted with hemorrhages have considerable worth when looking at Jesus’ life and mission. In both stories, a large theme that we can reflect on is that of rising up.
In the story regarding the woman afflicted with hemorrhages, she collapses before Jesus in “fear and trembling” after realizing that she had been healed. I think that we as human beings are very similar to the woman portrayed in this passage. We sometimes tend to approach the idea of God on all fours, trembling at the idea of something so beyond our reasoning and yet so ingrained in what we hope to be. The mystery of it all frightens us. How does Jesus respond, however? He does not try to increase her fear of what she does not understand and he does not try to pressure her into believing that he is God almighty. No, he simply says, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” Jesus does not demand payment; he does not require recompense. He simply provides what is necessary for the women to “go in peace” and live her life. He gives her what is needed for her to rise up out of her suffering and walk forward.
In Jesus’ healing of Jairus’ daughter, we see another instance of Jesus giving what is needed in order to rise out of despair. When at first Jesus entered the house of the child, he was ridiculed for saying that the child was not dead “but asleep.” People so enveloped in their pain and misery refused to accept any other conclusion. Human anguish has a very blinding effect on all of us at times. Jesus reacts by dismissing anguish, and then he enters the girl’s room. “’Talitha koum’ … little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl rises immediately.
In reflecting on our human condition, we can all understand the crippling effects of emotional pain, both physically and spiritually. Human suffering is a factor of life that we have all experienced in some form or another. Our ontological poverty as human beings makes it so that suffering is inescapable. Suffering that we experience can be devastating and can make life seem impossible at times. These are the moments when I think we need to read this Gospel passage. Even though we may feel immobilized by the deepest of wounds, we can always make the effort again and again to stand. Jesus reminds us just how important it is to rise up amidst pain and continue, for we will never move forward alone. The love that binds us all together never abandons us and it is through this love that we can all learn to lift ourselves out of our deepest chasms. Life is precious and it must be lived, but in order for us to live fully, we must first be able to stand willingly.
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