Homily at Communion Service – 4th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
Mark 5:21-43
Our Lady of Fatima – February 5, 2019

No audio recording today.

  • Mark is known for his use of INTERCALATION, a literary strategy also know as a “sandwich construction”, where two stories are wound together to demonstrate a common theme
  • Today’s intercalated passage contains the stories of Jesus healing Jairus’ daughter and the woman with the blood flow. In each of these narratives Mark emphasizes the importance of faith as being essential in order to receive healing from Our Lord.
  • We see that we must take the first step to receive healing, not Jesus; we must approach Jesus in faith to receive his healing. We must act on our faith, or it is not really faith at all.
  • Acting in faith is typically countercultural. Both people healed were considered unclean. A woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years, and a dead girl.
  • No respectable rabbi of Jesus’ time would have had anything to do with either of these persons, as touching either of them would have been render them unclean.
  • Through these two miracle stories we learn that nothing is impossible when we approach Christ in faith. Mark is a master of using miracle stories such as these to emphasize Jesus’ identity as the Son of God.
  • Through these stories, Mark calls us to greater faith in Jesus’ power to make a difference in our lives; to believe in his power to work wonders that are beyond the normal experience of human life.
  • These stories also teach that when one exercises faith, we must often do so against popular opinion and custom. To exercise faith is to engage in risky behavior.
  • Faith in Jesus can leave us vulnerable to ridicule and contempt by friends and society in general. The bleeding woman risked further contempt and humiliation by approaching the rabbi in her unclean state. She was already shunned for hemorrhaging for 12 years. This act have made things even worse.
  • Likewise, Jairus’ friends must have thought he was crazy to believe that Jesus could have any effect on his dead daughter. They  thought their situation was too much for Jesus to handle.
  • What situation are you facing that is “too much” for  Jesus to handle? Can He not handle your boss or your co-workers? And what about  your family? Perhaps you consider your finances or your love life beyond His  scope? If you ridicule the possibility of Jesus working in any area of your  life, you too may find yourself “put out” by Jesus. You will not  enter the room to witness firsthand the amazing workings of the Master-Healer.
  • Mark is calling us to a true faith in Christ in this passage: faith that can produce extraordinary results in our lives if we are willing to risk mockery and contempt when we ACT upon our belief that all things are possible for God.
  • True faith is both RISKY and it requires ACTION on our part. Let us pray today for the gift of true faith so we may truly believe in God’s power and act upon that belief, even if it risks personal loss or sacrifice.