Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection January 30, 2024


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R/. Turn your ear, O Lord, and answer me.

V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia

V/. Christ took our illnesses and bore our diseases.

R/. Alleluia

At that time: 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, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet and implored him earnestly, 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 discharge 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 will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out 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 round to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened 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 overhearing 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. They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? 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, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for 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.

1.      True faith is never mediocre. True faith believes even the impossible to happen, for as the Bible says, “Nothing is impossible for God”. True faith is to hope for the best even in the worst and hopeless situations.

2.       This is what we see in the gospel. There are two miracles by Jesus: one is the miraculous healing of a twelve-year-long haemorrhage of a woman; the other is, bringing to life the dead daughter of a certain Jairus, an official.

3.       Tremendous was the faith needed to believe in Jesus’ power even in such desperate situations. Jairus continued to believe even when he got the news of the death of his ailing daughter. The woman with the bleeding disease persisted to believe even after twelve years of huge resultless spending.

4.       Both the miracles were the effects of the power of the touch of Jesus. The woman was cured because she touched the garment of Jesus. The dead girl was restored to life because Jesus touched her with his hand. This confirms that the touch of Jesus is powerful and is healing. Those who come in touch with Jesus cannot continue sick or dead. They will be healed and revived.

5.       Both the miracles bring new life to the concerned persons. For the woman with a haemorrhage, it was really a new life. She was on the verge of total ruin: all her resources were exhausted; all her human dignity was exasperated; her hopes evaporated; the beauty of living was disfigured, and the joy of life was robbed.

6.       She was literally dying. Thus, her healing was not merely a physical matter. It was much more: it was a new life with a new dignity of the person and new beauty and joy of life.

7.       The mention of 12 years can be indicative. The girl raised to life was twelve years old, and the woman suffered from a haemorrhage for 12 years. The girl began a new life at 12. The woman too began a new life after 12 years of intense suffering.

8.       Jesus’ healing command, Talitha cumi (Little girl, arise) to the dead girl can be very indicative. It indicates that essentially all healing is a matter of rising. It is a rising from our misery, from our sickness, and from our death.

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