Gospel Mark 5:21-43
Little girl, I tell you to get up
When Jesus had crossed in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered round him and he stayed by the lakeside. Then one of the synagogue officials came up, Jairus by name, and seeing him, fell at his feet and pleaded with him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter is desperately sick. Do come and lay your hands on her to make her better and save her life.’ Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed him; they were pressing all round him.
Now there was a woman who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years; after long and painful treatment under various doctors, she spent all she had without being any the better for it, in fact, she was getting worse. She had heard about Jesus, and she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his cloak. ‘If I can touch even his clothes,’ she had told herself ‘I shall be well again.’ And the source of the bleeding dried up instantly, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint. Immediately aware that power had gone out from him, Jesus turned round in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ His disciples said to him, ‘You see how the crowd is pressing round you and yet you say, “Who touched me?”’ But he continued to look all round to see who had done it. Then the woman came forward, frightened and trembling because she knew what had happened to her, and she fell at his feet and told him the whole truth. ‘My daughter,’ he said ‘your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free from your complaint.’
While he was still speaking some people arrived from the house of the synagogue official to say, ‘Your daughter is dead: why put the Master to any further trouble?’ But Jesus had overheard this remark of theirs and he said to the official, ‘Do not be afraid; only have faith.’ And he allowed no one to go with him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. So they came to the official’s house and Jesus noticed all the commotion, with people weeping and wailing unrestrainedly. He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and crying? The child is not dead, but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. So he turned them all out and, taking with him the child’s father and mother and his own companions, he went into the place where the child lay. And taking the child by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha, kum!’ which means, ‘Little girl, I tell you to get up.’ The little girl got up at once and began to walk about, for she was twelve years old. At this they were overcome with astonishment, and he ordered them strictly not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you taught: “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you” (Matthew 7:7). You invite me to place my petition here before you. I believe Lord, that you will hear my prayer if I earnestly ask you with a sincere heart. I hope in your goodness and mercy, and I offer you my love even if it is paltry in comparison to yours, for you are the wellspring of love and goodness itself.
Petition: Lord, help me to reach out to you with faith.
1. “If I But Touch His Clothes” Lord, at times you can seem so distant, so far from us. I believe that you are God, all-powerful and almighty. Yet, Lord, I believe that you want me to come to you. As great and as mighty as you are, you invite me to come to you as a little child. How seldom do I seek to reach out to you like the woman suffering a haemorrhage! What great faith she has. All she wants to do is have contact with you. She doesn’t seek much, just a brief moment. At times my life goes by so fast that I do not seek even that. I worry about my own things, and I get so caught up in my own problems that I do not think about bringing them to you as she does. It seems so right and so easy, yet how frequently do I hold the attitude she does?
2. “Who Touched Me?” Lord, it must please you to recognize someone has reached out to you. Many times you marvelled at our faith, even if it be just for a moment. You were amazed at the faith of the centurion when he said: “Only speak the word, and let my servant be healed” (Luke 7:7). You promised the “Good Thief” that he would be with you in Paradise. This woman believed that you could do something to make a difference in her life, and she sought you out. How often do we touch you? How often do we bring you to look for us, to seek us out because we seek you out?
3. “Your Faith Has Saved You” Faith in you, Lord, is what inspired the woman to touch your cloak. She believed that you would make her well. Reaching out to you was her prayer. She knows who she is: a creature whom the Father has made, a poor soul in need of help. She had tried to do it alone, seeking cures in medicine. They only worsened her condition. Now she asks for your help. Not only do you help her, Lord, but you save her. You are waiting to do the same for me if I simply come to you and make my petition. Lord, I believe that by making my petition known to you, I am being the person you made me to be. I am one who is totally dependent on you. I need you for everything. By myself I can do nothing, but with you I can do all things (Cf. Galatians 2: 20).
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I recognize that you want me to touch you like the woman with a haemorrhage did. I believe, Lord, that you are waiting for me to come to you as she did. All I have to do is reach out and touch you. You will be there to answer my prayer.
Resolution: I shall make two acts of faith during the day so as to reach out to my Lord, who is waiting for me to come to him.