The first reading from the letter to the Hebrews says, “…persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.” This is the key to life…keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, filled with faith and trust that Christ will enable us to finish the race of life with victory! Our Gospel reveals the power of deep, abiding faith in Jesus.
Have you watched The Chosen series about the life of Jesus? If not, make it part of your Lenten journey. The Chosen is now in its third season. The episode released last week portrays today’s Gospel reading. The Chosen’s Season 3, Episode 5, “Clean, part 2” expands on how Jairus and the woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years came to believe in Jesus. Jairus was a synagogue official who had been comparing the words of Jesus, His life and ministry to the prophecies of the Torah and the words of the prophets. Through prayer and study, Jairus came to know that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. His JOY could not be contained. When his only child falls deathly ill, Jairus knows Jesus can save her.
The woman who had been bleeding for twelve years heard Jesus speaking to the crowds. Her heart was moved, and she found hope that was lost. She knew if she could only touch the hem of Jesus’ garment she would be healed. Healed of an affliction that for 12 years doctors could not cure. An affliction that caused her family to abandon her because she was deemed to be unclean according to Jewish laws. An affliction that left her alone, destitute, forsaken. All of this pain, rejection and loneliness could be cured with one touch of Jesus’ clothes. That is faith!
And she was right. In the Gospel, we hear, “Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from Him, turned around in the crowd, and asked, “Who has touched my clothes? 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.” (Mark 5:30-34) In the Chosen, Jesus thanks her and tells her she has blessed Him. Why? Because of her deep faith. Her great faith was consolation and encouragement to Jesus, whose mission and ultimate sacrifice was underway.
On the way to Jairus’ house, they receive word, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Jesus says to Jairus, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” When they arrive at the house Jesus puts everyone out of the house except Jairus and his wife, then Jesus touches the little girl’s hand and says, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl rose immediately and walked around. Jairus’ faith and belief in Jesus resulted in life, both on earth and eternally.
The faith of Jairus and the woman came from hearing and reading the words of Jesus. Do I spend time with the living Word of God? Do I invite the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s presence in my life? Do I ask the Holy Spirit to increase my faith, my trust and my love of Christ? God wants all His children to have the faith of Jairus and the woman. God wills this faith for you and for me, it is our choice.