View all Gospel Reflections |
Do You Trust Me?
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 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. “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.
Opening Prayer: Lord, I struggle to trust not only you but others in my life. Help me to have the courage to trust in your goodness and that of others by renewing your presence in my heart.
- Jesus First: “Please, come lay your hands on her so that she may get well and live.” Jairus was speaking to Our Lord from the depths of his heart. This was his little daughter and he would do whatever he could to save her. He believed that Jesus was capable of healing her, so he made the decision to approach Jesus and manifest his confidence in Jesus’s power to save. When we find ourselves in crisis, to whom do we turn? Is Jesus the first person we speak with in a life-or-death situation? Why or why not?
- Have Faith: “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” So often, the world–even those closest to us–will try to tell us we are wasting our time believing in Jesus or practicing our Catholic faith. They would prefer that we rely on our own intelligence or our financial resources. In addition, the evil one can try in multiple ways to sow fear and doubt in our hearts. These are temptations, but Jesus is faithful and true. What life experiences affirm for us that Jesus can be trusted with our greatest concerns and worries? When has he “come through”? Jesus wants us to treasure these memories and revisit them often so we can recall them when we find ourselves worried or afraid and more easily rest in him.
- Hand in Hand: “He took the child by the hand…” Jesus doesn’t deny or reduce the value of our humanity. The Lord cherishes all that he created in our humanity, and he knows the pain Jairus and his wife experienced. Jesus gently reached out to touch Jarius’s daughter as he brought her back to life. He didn’t have to take her hand to work the miracle, but he preferred to touch her because he loved her. Jesus touches us daily through those he puts in our lives. The intimate touch of a spouse, the needy clinging of a child, the cuddle from a grandchild, or the affection of a colleague—these are ways that Jesus touches us every day. He also sometimes “touches us” in silent prayer.
Conversing with Christ: Jesus, healer of all ills, I come before you in faith and trust, knowing that you look for my greatest good. Open my heart to receive whatever blessings and healings you desire to give me. Touch me deeply so that by my ongoing conversion I may bear greater witness to the touch of the Master’s hand.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will entrust an area of my life that needs healing to your transformative touch.
For Further Reflection: Pray and meditate upon the “Anima Christi” prayer.
Father Todd Arsenault is from Prince Edward Island, Canada, and is a priest with the Legionaries of Christ. He spent fourteen years doing ministry in the greater Toronto area as a chaplain for Regnum Christi and couple’s groups, spiritual director, and retreat master. He is currently on a two-year sabbatical in Rome, studying for a licentiate in Spiritual Theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum.