13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

In today’s Gospel we see two acts of desperation mixed with faith that need a little encouragement. Jairus, despite his position in the synagogue, is not afraid to throw himself at Our Lord’s feet to beg the healing of his daughter. The hemorrhagic woman has tried everything and decides to take a risk on Our Lord being able to help her, but without exposing herself. Our Lord permits circumstances that help them close the gap between what they want–healing–and what they need to get it: faith and an a real relationship with God.

The hemorrhagic woman wants something good, and she received it, but she didn’t entirely go about it the right way. Touching a rabbi in her state was considered under Mosaic Law a ritual defilement of Jesus. She sought healing from Jesus, but wanted it on the sly: she didn’t want to be his disciple. Imagine her fear and shock when Jesus knew that someone had touched him and received healing from him. She couldn’t remain anonymous; God is not an ATM, and we shouldn’t treat him like one. All he wants in return for his help is our love and friendship. In this case, being open about her need and the miracle had another purpose: Jairus’ hopes had been dashed by the news that his daughter had died. Seeing what the hemorrhagic woman had received with little effort and, after a little coaxing, great courage, helped Jairus to have the faith and courage he needed for Jesus to work the miracle for his daughter as well in the face of an impossible situation.

If you need something and turn to God today because you feel you are out of options, that’s okay; Our Lord can work with that. But you also need to let him into your life, before, during, and after your need, and ask him to help you believe against all odds. All he asks in return is your love and friendship.

Readings: Wisdom of Solomon 1:13–15, 2:23–24; Psalm 30:2, 4–6, 11–13; 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13–15; Mark 5:21–43.