13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
“Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 47(46):2 — “All peoples, clap your hands. Cry to God with shouts of joy!”
First Reading: Wis 1:13-15; 2:23-24 — “By the envy of the devil, death entered the world.”
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13 — “I will praise You, Lord, for You have rescued me.”
Second Reading: 2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15 — “Your abundance should supply the needs of the poor.”
Alleluia: 2 Tm 1:10 — Alleluia, alleluia. “Our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.” Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: Mk 5:21-43 — “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
Communion Antiphon: Ps 103(102):1 — “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all within me, His Holy Name.”
In January, 2009, the “Miracle on the Hudson” dominated news from every angle for months. You probably remember that Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed his U.S. Airways flight in the Hudson River. All 155 passengers and crew members lived to tell about it. This was truly a phenomenal feat.
What Jesus did in today’s Gospel was much more phenomenal. Sullenberger and his crew preserved the lives of those flying with them. Jesus brought back to life two females, one literally and one figuratively in today’s Gospel. People on Flight 1549 didn’t get to pick their pilot. Lucky for them, they had one of the best. The females in today’s Gospel were brought back to life because of choice and because of faith. The young girl’s father chose to seek Jesus out to help his daughter. He chose to overcome his fear. The woman with the hemorrhage sought Jesus for the purpose of being cured. She overcame her fear and she witnessed to her faith. How did they know to seek Jesus?
As with most people who do phenomenal things, news travels fast. Obviously Jesus’ reputation was being spread far and wide. This gave Jairus and the woman with the hemorrhage the courage to approach Jesus. Both had to overcome their fear and to trust in the power of Jesus. They had to have faith in Jesus.
Jairus as a synagogue official was an unlikely candidate for asking Jesus’ help. He would have been in charge in some way of all things orthodox. For him to fall at the feet of Jesus and to beg His help in healing his daughter was an extraordinary thing. A girl child would have very little value in the society of the day. William Barclay, a Scripture scholar, in his book, The Gospel of Mark says of Jairus: “His prejudices were forgotten … His dignity was forgotten … His pride was forgotten … we can say of this man his friends were forgotten.” Jairus was most likely going against all the conventional wisdom and propriety of the day. For that matter, so was Jesus in even ministering to a dead female. She would have been considered unclean because of being dead … she was a corpse.