Faith: The Way to Miracle

Lukisan Cesare Auguste Detti, She picked Her Favorite

Year B

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24

Corinthians 8:7.9.13-15

Mark 5:21-43

Do not be afraid; just have faith

Today, from the gospel we have seen two amazing moments of faith: the faith of the woman who had suffered a hemorrhage bringing to health and the faith of Jairus saving her daughter from the dead. Faith is a moment of encountering Jesus personally. They had met with Jesus and these two people with their struggle had proved the beauty of faith. Let us see the beauty of their faith which confirms us to face life.


The faith of the woman

The woman had suffered hemorrhages for 12 years. Hemorrhage was menstrual or vaginal bleeding, possibly from a fibroid tumor. The doctors could not cure her so it meant she was at the point of hopelessness because she got worst and incurable. A situation without a solution! Surely this hemorrhage had tormented her body and soul. She was also branded as unclean for her bleeding and she was in defile because anything she touched also became unclean. How to suffer she was with no proof anyone could hear. Her suffering relates to the length of time, the severity of pain, and the social scorn. Imagine being treated like a leper for a dozen years.  The woman through many nights had prayed to God to cure her hemorrhage.

Anyhow, even though her hope was frail but it never died, it was impossible to be silenced. A small hope but still echoed until one day she heard Jesus staying close to the sea.  Now the resilient voice of her heart said the hope was very near: go to Jesus, a voice that barely understood. So, she went there together with a large crowd, blinded by her pain and the blood flew from her body. Who knows what miracle could happen said her heart. Now, she saw Jesus and he was standing there. In the midst of the crowd, her heart was so full of faith that could not be explained. A song of faith emerged from her soul. She believed that Jesus would cure her. Her faith was expressed in her word: “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured”. Her faith even was superficial or superstitious – touching his clothes- but it was a faith, a revolutionary faith. Why? By touching His cloak, she was recognizing her uncleanness and her being unworthy to touch Jesus directly. Her actions are based on the understanding that if anything she touches becomes unclean, then Jesus, who is pure, must purify everything which He touches (or touches Him – sort of a second-class relic), and thus purify her[1].

Everybody touched Jesus’s clothes but with that faith, she touched his cloth. That was the difference. The miracle happened: her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed from her affliction. But now she had the time of fear because Jesus asked who touched him. His disciples explained that you were in the middle of the crowd. Everyone touched you. How could you say who touched me? But Jesus knew everything and felt the faith. Nothing is hidden from Jesus; every hope is heard by Jesus. The woman became aware that she had been discovered. It was a difficult and dangerous moment for her because according to the belief of the time, an impure person like herself got in among the people and contaminated everyone who touched her. All would become impure before God (Lev 15:19-30)[2]. For this reason, the punishment could be stoning. Actually, she could have escaped with her healing intact.  But the woman had the courage to accept the consequences of what she had done. The woman “frightened and trembling” fell at Jesus’ feet. Because of the healing, it was enough for her to cling to His feet although she did not yet dare to look up into His face. She was honest in front of Jesus. She ‘told him all the truth.’ Christ himself is the truth. She was giving praise to the truth. She had been healed by the truth[3]. What flowed from her (“truth”) would bring forth healing. That is why Jesus said to her: “My daughter, your faith has restored you to health, go in peace, and be free of your complaint.” The wonderful was Jesus called her daughter. How loving Jesus is. He healed her and accepted her as a daughter. The word Daughter has meaning for the woman: first with this word Jesus accepted the woman into the new family, into the community which was gathering together around Him. Second, what she thought through faith became a reality: she was healed and she was restored completely, bodily and spiritually[4]. Usually, at nightfall, she was weeping but because of Jesus now, every time rejoices. There was no more rejection, there was no more fear in her life, and there was no more suffering. Through the lens of medicine was impossible to be healed but by faith and the power of Jesus, the healing happened. What a miracle


The Faith of Jairus

The disease of course brings sadness and suffering to the entire person including the sick and the person around the sick. If the woman was the direct person who had an illness, so Jairus was the father who saw and felt the suffering of his daughter. He was the officer of a synagogue.  As the official of the synagogue, he had the task to arrange the meeting on Sabbath, to point out who would explain the scripture. He was the father of a twelve-year-old girl and now was at the point of death. So Jairus was desperate and sad. His daughter’s situation was the same as the woman who had hemorrhaged. Who father can stand to see the suffering of her daughter? As a father, Jairus would do everything to save her daughter. He heard that Jesus stayed close to the sea. It must be that Jesus’s reputation as a healer had been heard. Therefore he came to Jesus so that Jesus healed her daughter.

He met with Jesus. He put aside his prejudice, his status, anything he had. Then he fell to his feet. His words: “Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live” meant that he trusted Jesus and only accounted for Jesus. He hoped that Jesus would impose his hand on her daughter. The imposition of the hand is the way and the sign to heal by someone who had the power to heal the disease. By the imposition of Jesus’ hand, he believed her daughter would be healed. This was the starting point of his faith and this was the starting moment of a miracle because Jesus listened to him and wanted to heal his daughter so Jesus went off with him.

But someone informed him that her daughter had died, and the hope of Jairus vanished.  The faith of Jairus was put to test: that his daughter might be cured and, now that she had died. But Jesus disregarded the news.  Jesus’s reaction to this news reminded us of what enslaved African Americans of the 19th century sang, “God may not come when you call him, but he’ll be there right on time!”[5]

 At the same time, it meant this hopeless situation was the setting of the miracle. Let Jesus work; let God do. That is why Jesus said: “Do not be afraid, just have faith”. Jairus just believed it. He surrendered totally to Jesus.  Jesus himself strengthened the faith of Jairus. His faith contrasted with the lack of faith in the crowd who assumed death. Despite the way circumstances looked, there was a firm belief in the sovereignty of God[6].

At the house of Jairus, people were weeping because the child was dead. Weeping is a Jewish ritual ceremony for mourning. But Jesus said the child was not dead but was asleep. Of course, they ridiculed him. People assumed that the girl was dead but for Jesus, the child was asleep meaning was alive. God is beyond human assumption. Now Jairus and his wife with Jesus entered the room where her daughter was.  With Jesus meant with and in faith Jairus entered the room of her daughter. Jesus took the child by the hand and said: “Talitha kum!” Jesus has the greatest power and resurrects: “Get up!”.

She rose. The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. Through his faith, the reality of the miracle happened. His faith led to a miracle for his daughter. Because of his faith, he saved his daughter from sickness and death. He had just seen that faith was capable of realizing what the person believes. The miracle of the Jairus daughter was greater than the woman who had hemorrhage because Jesus rose up the girl from death.

By faith, two women are cured! One is twelve years old, the other one twelve years of hemorrhage, twelve years of exclusion! Wonderfully both are called “daughters,” and both are in need of physical healing and God had made a miracle for both of them[7].  From now on they can say like the Psalm: hear o lord and have pity on me. O Lord be my helper. You changed my mourning into dancing. O Lord my God forever will I give you thanks. We can say that faith is the way to a miracle.


The faith: the way to the miracle

Jesus asks his follower to believe in him, to have faith in him, and not only rely on or account for our strength facing life. Of course, it was not easy to have real faith in him. So many times, we forget our faith and indeed we use our faith just to elevate our glory. Faith is neither delusion nor ornament to decorate life. Faith is a belief rooted in the life and is an actualization in the act. Today, we get the lesson and we can hear the authentic faith bringing to full life.

Jesus is God who is full of mercy and full of compassion. By faith, we can feel and see His mercy and His compassion that helps us always at any time. His help is available to us all but it usually comes in an unspectacular way. We can affirm that if there is an impediment to our salvation, God will remove it if we simply ask Him in all faith[8]. The faith of Jairus and the faith of the woman have proven it.  He healed the woman with a hemorrhage, he raised Jairus’ daughter from death.

God’s compassion and mercy show that God always hears our needs, he never rejects our requests asked with a sincere and faithful. Therefore he went off with Jairus to Jairus’ home. That is why he cured the woman just only by letting her touch his clothes. These miracles were worked by Jesus as a reward for his trusting faith in him. The girl’s father was encouraged to have faith, and the older woman was praised for her Faith

Jesus very is close to us. He called the two women with the daughter. Jesus is our father and we are his son and his daughter. This family relation opens that we always are under the father’s love. As a father, he knows what we need, what we do, and what we hope for.  When the woman touched his cloak, he knew it. Amid the large, jostling crowd, he felt the touch of faith, the touch of someone who was in need[9]. When Jairus heard the death news of his daughter, he was disregarding the message: Do not be afraid, just have faith. His love strengthens our faith in us in any condition. Our father chooses not to abandon us in the conditions in which he finds us.

All is the gracious act of our Lord Jesus –as said by St. Paul in the second reading.  We can grasp and feel the gracious act of our Lord Jesus by having faith. The gracious act of Lord Jesus is a miracle. Because of faith miracle happens: a girl is restored to life and the woman is healed. Father John Bartunek in his book Better Part beautifully explains:

“It was faith that brought Jairus to his knees in front of Christ – and that faith raised his daughter back to life. It was faith that propelled the woman to touch Jesus’ cloak, even though doing so was a risk (by the Mosaic Law, her hemorrhage made her ritually unclean, so touching Christ would him make her unclean as well), and it was faith that cured her and gave her peace, after a dozen years of uncertainty and fear. Faith, trust in God no matter what, in spite of appearances (Jairus’ daughter, by all accounts, was already gone), in spite of the limited vision of our natural reason (the doctors had concluded that this woman’s sickness was incurable): this kind of childlike trust is what Christ longs for from us; it alone frees him to unfurl the power of his love in our lives”. Faith brings salvation for us and for the other. Faith bears love and gracious act. That is the reason St. Paul says: as you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love, we have for you, may you excel in this gracious act also.

The miracles of faith show that God wills full life for all God’s children[10]. God does not want man to be sick or dead. Why? Like it is said in the first reading God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. It means that the life of man –as said by St. Ireneus- is the glory of God, the life of man is the vision of God. The glory of God gives life and those who see God receive life. Men, therefore, see God if they are to live; through the vision of God, they will become immortal and attain to God himself. The vision of God for men is that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor so that by his poverty you become rich: Rich in love, in hope, in faith so that having fully lived. In other words, the vision of God for men is like said in the book of Wisdom “for he fashioned all things that they might have being, and the creatures of the world are wholesome, and there is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of the netherworld on earth”.

Just go further with your faith and you will see many miracles in your life. When there is faith, there is Jesus, and where is Jesus, there is a miracle. There can be a miracle when you believe. The song of Mariah Carrey is suitable to be the close of the miracle of faith:

Many nights we prayed
with no proof anyone could hear
in our hearts a hope for a song
we barely understood

Now we are not afraid

Although we know there’s much to fear
we were moving mountains
long before we knew we could, whoa, yes

There can be miracles
when you believe

Though hope is frail
it’s hard to kill

Who knows what miracles
you can achieve
when you believe somehow you will
you will when you believe

In this time of fear
when prayer so often proves in vain

Hope seems like the summer bird
too swiftly flown away
yet now I’m standing here
my hearts so full, I can’t explain

Seeking faith and speaking’ words
I never thought I’d say
There can be miracles
When you believe (When you believe)

Though hope is frail
its hard to kill
who knows what miracles
you can achieve (You can achieve)

When you believe somehow you will
you will when you believe

They don’t always happen when you ask
and it’s easy to give in to your fears
But when you’re blinded by your pain
can’t see the way, get through the rain

A small but still, resilient voice
Says hope is very near, oh (Oh)
There can be miracles (Miracles)
When you believe (Boy, when you believe, yeah) (Though hope is frail)

Though hope is frail (Its hard)
Its hard to kill (Hard to kill, oh, yeah)
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve (You can achieve, oh)

When you believe somehow you will
Somehow you will (I know, I know, know)
You will when you believe

[1] Quoted from St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Picayune, MS.

[2] Lectio Divina Mark 5:21-43.

[3] Homily 77 Saint Jerome. Quoted from St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Picayune, MS.

[4] Lectio Divina Mark 5:21-43.

[5] Commentary on Mark 5:21-43 by Emerson Powery.

[6] Ibid

[7] Lectio Divina Mark 5:21-43.

[8] Quoted from St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Picayune, MS.

[9] ibid

[10] Fr. Anthony Kadavil, is taken from the Catholic Bishops of Conference India. http://

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