Year B, Thirteenth Sunday Ordinary

On the Other Side of the Sea

July 2, 2000


Ronald D. Curley

TEXT: The Holy Gospel According to Saint Mark 5:21-43 (Long)

Life often presents us with circumstances that are like the waves of an out of control sea, the foaming waters, the weeds, the tumult... all contributes to our own confusion and a sense of crisis within our Christian.

God assures us again and again that he is with us in all circumstances.

Thus, Jesus, having crossed the sea, shows us he is here to help us in all things.

No one can quite know the heart of a father like another father. There is a love within a father for a child that those who are not fathers cannot quite understand. We remember the warmth of our own heart as we looked into the cradle of our own daughter when she was little, as she was being treated in a hospital at the Stanford University hospital for a heart condition. In a similar way, God intervened miraculously with our own daughter through ardent and heartfelt prayer, a suffering prayer, and the anomaly suddenly disappeared when the echocardiogram and radiological studies were re-done.

Now, our own daughter is the healthy mother on her first child, Aiden Christopher --- and the blessings of God continue...

The father of Jarius was a loving father who loved his daughter too.

IT was on the other side of the sea and a large crowd gathered to meet Jesus...

21 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.

22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and seeing him, he fell at his feet,

23 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."

We may not here the humility of this man of God, this religious ruler of the Jewish people.

Jesus did not hesitate to go with this man, this example of humility. "...He fell at his feet."

St. Augustine reminds us of four ways to God - Faith, Hope, Love, and... Humility. It is Humility that appears to be the most significant to God.

So, Jesus responded... we too remember falling to the feet of Jesus in prayer when our daughter was diagnosed and admitted to an intensive care hospital unit... Beloved... our God is not far from us when we humble ourselves under his mighty hand... our God bends a knee to come to listen to his children who cry out to him in anguish... this is penance (continuing conversion)...

Jesus heard Jairus, whose name is from "Jair," meaning, "(God) enlightens."

Here God in Christ Jesus enlightened the dark night of Jairus.

24 And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him.

25 And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years,

26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.

Often, when Jesus goes with us to come to our aid... we find God not forgetting others that seek him as well. Some times, perhaps, we are annoyed and think that God may be too occupied to remember us with so many others on his "mind"... but, perhaps, our thinking of God in this way is much too small.

God is not distracted... beloved. God bends a knee to listen to our individualized circumstances, because we are a part of his Body, the Church... and he calls all, whosoever will, to come to the waters and drink on the other side of the sea.

This woman also heard of Jesus...

27 She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.

28 For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well."

29 And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.

She knew by faith that God had touched her within... here too is humility, faith, hope and love... perhaps, she did not wish to delay Jesus from this earnest appeal of the well beloved Jairus? She was silently in the background... now healed...

30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, "Who touched my garments?"

31 And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, 'Who touched me?"

32 And he looked around to see who had done it.

Our God bends a knee to listen to his children, beloved. He wants this woman to know he loved her.

She is humbled before her God.

33 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.

34 And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."

We believe that God desires that we know that it is God alone who heals us of our diseases. It is God alone who cleanses us from our sins. It is not we ourselves. It is God who works these miracles of grace!

35 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?"

When the Word of God is speaking... the Word of God is acting on our behalf at all times. Thanks be to God alone.

He understands our frame of dust...

36 But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe."

37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.

38 When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, he saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly.

Beloved of God, Jesus had calmed the storm (Mark 4:35-41)... Jesus had calmed the maniac of Gadara (Mark 5:1-20)

Beloved, there is nothing that Jesus cannot calm! And, someday, Jesus will return and calm this whole planet that rages like waves of a foaming and frothy sea!

Now, he enters Jairus' house with a selected few, the inner circle... Peter, James and John...

39 And when he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a tumult and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping."

40 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.

Listen to this - he took the father and the mother, just as he was taking Jairus along the way and healed then another woman with a hemorrhage...

Now, with Jairus and his wife, the mother of this child... they enter into the room where death has claimed the life of an innocent.

Jesus bends the knee to listen to his little ones, beloved.

41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, "Talitha cumi"; which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise."

Jesus takes her little hand in his and says -- "Little girl, I say to you arise."

There is great compassion here.

As a father, we can sense the heart of our Heavenly Father in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as those eyes looked upon this little innocent one who had died with mom and dad present with the three apostles.

What a sight!

All others had been sent away, the tumult, the storms of the hearts, the wailing and weeping, those tears had been banished... Peace be still...

Silence... quiet and calm... Life....

Now, Jesus with hand of girl in his hand... now, the instantaneous and unexplainable miracle.

42 And immediately the girl got up and walked (she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement.

Why are we always so amazed when God does what is so ordinary for him to do?

It is because, like Peter, we step out onto the water of the seas and only see the rain, the wind, the foam and the tumult... and we sink until we cry out "Lord, save me!"

We are humbled when we see God working, because we cannot see it so often as we would like, and, we are struck with awe when we finally have eyes to see it with so briefly...

43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

How profound - no celebrity... no seeking the glory of men - just tell no one and give the little girl something to eat.

Now, we weep, as we write this closing.

Our Lord Jesus bends down to listen, having calmed the sea and crossed over to where we live.

Now, we sense, having healed us - he offers you and me, beloved, something to eat... the Gift of himself, our Bread from Heaven... he comes down through Mary and is born in the House of Bread (Bethlehem)... He give us himself to eat, Body, Soul and Divinity in Eucharist.

"Give the little girl something to eat."

He desires with Saint Paul that we someday be presented as his chaste virgin, like Mary our Mother... for we are also her children...

Grace and peace through Christ Jesus...

Deus et Sanctissima.