By Fr. Matt Keller, C.PP.S.
I feel for Jairus, the man who was seeking help from Jesus for his seriously ill daughter. Nothing would have been more frustrating and disappointing than to approach Jesus for help, only to have a woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years to sneak in and touch Jesus’ tassel and get healed. This creates a distraction and delays Jesus from helping Jairus. And it would appear that Jesus is too late. Jairus’ daughter dies.
In some ways this reminds me of a time when I was nine or 10 years old and I needed a new pair of shoes. So Mom took my brother and me to the store so that I could get a new pair of shoes. To be clear, I needed shoes and my brother did not—he was just tagging along to get out of the house. At the store, I looked all through the shoe department and could not find a pair that was right for me. My brother, on the other hand, found a pair of Batman slip-on shoes that he really liked. They fit him perfectly, and he really wanted mom to buy that pair of shoes for him. Even though he did not need them, Mom ended up buying him the new pair of Batman slip-on shoes.
I went home from the store mad about the situation and jealous of my brother. He got a new pair of shoes and I went home with just the pair of shoes that were on my feet. Unfortunately, my frustration led to me punching my brother.
How is this fair? I needed a new pair of shoes and my brother did not, yet he got a new pair of shoes and I did not.
To explain to a nine- or ten-year-old how this is fair—I do not think there is a reasonable answer. Nor do I think there would have been a reasonable answer for Jairus how this woman got cured from her hemorrhages over his daughter getting cured of illness, leading to her death.
In the end, few days later, Mom took me shopping, I found the right pair of shoes, and Mom bought them for me. In the end, Jesus takes Jairus’ daughter by the hand and tells her to arise, and she does. In the end, things worked out. Perhaps there is a lesson in patience here, but perhaps the real lesson is this: Jesus has the capability to heal us with a simple touch, whether that be with a woman touching the tassel of his cloak or Jesus taking Jairus’ daughter by the hand. I guess also with my need for new shoes. Sometimes the healing power of Jesus comes in ways that we would least expect. The question for us then is, are we patient enough to wait for the unexpected healing power of God in our lives?
To view the full scripture reading, click here.
Fr. Matt Keller, C.PP.S., is the parochial vicar of the Downtown Dayton Catholic Parishes, which includes Emmanuel, Holy Trinity and St. Joseph.