(Part 126)


June 28, 2015

Today’s gospel:  Mark 5:21-43

As Christians, we have faith in Jesus, that is, we believe in him as Savior and Lord. But Jesus calls us to mountain-moving faith. It is belief in him as possessing all authority and power from the Father, and being able to empower us as his instruments to carry out his divine commission. Such faith is necessary if we are to defeat the work of the enemy, who is powerful, and to do a truly massive work of evangelization.

Unfortunately, oftentimes our faith falls short. We see only what is seemingly evident, and miss out on the deeper realities, on the mysteries of God’s working among us. Oftentimes Jesus wants to bring us to deeper faith, but we are clueless. When Jesus asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” (v.30b), his disciples could only hear a nonsensical question, since the crowd was pressing on him (v.31). When Jesus told the weeping and wailing crowd that Jairus’ daughter was not dead but asleep, “they ridiculed him.” (v.39-40a).

When we do not see or understand the deeper meaning of God’s words or actions or circumstances, when we judge merely with our human mind, we may end up even rejecting what Jesus seems to be telling us.

We need to have the faith of the woman afflicted with hemorrhages. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” (v.28). Perhaps it was partly borne of her desperation, since “she had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.” (v.26). But is that not the situation that we face many times? That we are desperate and frustrated? In our evangelization that has stalled? In the advance of the homosexualist forces including the legalization of same-sex marriage? In the deepening darkness in the world and the overwhelming tsunami of evil? Jesus has already sent us his Spirit. We just need to grow in even greater faith, and continue to reach out to touch his clothes.

We need to have the faith of Jairus. His people told him, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” (v.35). Jairus had desperately sought Jesus for his daughter’s healing, but now she was already dead. What else was there but to mourn? But Jairus simply and quietly went along when Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” (v.36b). Jesus did not say he would raise her from the dead. Rather, just have faith. When we face great challenges, obstacles and debacles in our life and mission, do we then just give up? Do we say, “That’s it; it’s over; let’s quit; there’s nothing more for us here”? Or do we have faith that Jesus can turn any situation around? That he can inject new life into our moribund activity or project? That he can raise the dead?! If Jairus had allowed his people to dissuade him and Jesus from proceeding, then he would not have witnessed a great miracle, and been granted the greatest desire of his life. Let us not listen to the naysayers or to the doom and gloom brethren. Let us listen only to Jesus who tells us, “just have faith.”

Then let us be “utterly astounded” (v.42b) at what transpires.

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