A Reflection on the Two Cures (Mark 5:25-43)
Rachel Gabelman, M.Div. Candidate
Perhaps like the apostles, who witness the hemorrhaging woman interrupt Jesus, we are annoyed by the untimely needs of others. Or perhaps like the crowd, who scoffed when Jesus insisted to see Jairus’ daughter who they claimed had already died, we are hopeless and believe that any efforts to help others are futile. However, both of these attitudes cause us to forfeit tremendous opportunities for personal and communal growth.
In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis writes, “Jesus wants us to touch human misery, to touch the suffering flesh of others. He hopes that we will stop looking for those personal or communal niches which shelter us from the maelstrom of human misfortune and instead enter into the reality of other people’s lives and know the power of tenderness. Whenever we do so, our lives become wonderfully complicated and we experience intensely what it is to be a people, to be part of a people” (270).
As the illumination depicts, healing takes place in the context of a community not in isolation. Jesus makes it possible for us, united in the Body of Christ, to venture beyond our fears, to reach out to the most vulnerable in our society. We must do so with confidence as a community that our pastoral outreach will make a difference, fostering life and dissolving the divisions among peoples that allow wounds to fester. It is our responsibility as Christians to alleviate unnecessary suffering. What initial step can you take today to combat the pervasive temptation to overlook those who are suffering in your community?
Rachel Gabelman is a candidate for the Master of Divinity degree at the School of Theology and Seminary at Saint John’s University, Collegeville, MN. She serves as the Graduate Assistant for the Seeing the Word project.