Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
The three levels of the faith
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” He went off with him …. There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. …. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up …. Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” …. So he went in …. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. Mk 5,21-43
These two miracles which Jesus performed, in their interweaving into one another, show the three levels of the faith. The first is the level of the despair. Jairus: “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come to lay your hands on her that she may get well and live” and the hemorrhage: “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured”. The second level is reached after a journey which, starting from the physical healing, leads to the faith in the Lord. Jesus says to the hemorrhage: “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction”. This level, although the text does not say so, certainly reached also Jairus. The third is the level of the faith of Jesus, which even has the power to win the death. Someone came to Jairus to tell him: “Your daughter has died” and Jesus:”Do not be afraid, just have faith”. When Maria Carmela became ill with a brain cancer and the doctors had taken away every hope, and when Anna Maria, waiting for Maria Letizia, contracted the rubella, or when, soon after the birth of Gianluca, she was hit by an embolism post partum, we too, impelled by despair, believed in the miracles. The Lord has heard us: mum, Maria Carmela and Maria Letizia are doing well and we just have to remember not to forget that the Lord listens and works.