30 June 2024

Lectionary Readings: Wis. 1:13-15.2:23-24; Ps. 30:2. 4-6.11-13; 2 Cor. 8:7-9. 13-15; Mk.5:21-43

Theme: Jesus brings life in abundance

This month of June, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the incarnated symbol of God’s love for all of creation, I have been focusing in my daily reflections on, firstly, the love and faithfulness of the LORD our God as revealed in the First (Old) Testament. Secondly, I have then taken some Gospel accounts to show how Jesus is the Face of God – the tremendous Lover and faithful One.

I see a similar pattern in the readings for this Sunday. The first reading from the Book of Wisdom is a Deutero-canonical book in the Septuagint and an Apocryphal writing according to the Hebrew Scriptures. Our reading tells us that the LORD God did not create the human being for death but for life – immortal, in the image of God (Gen. 1:26).  It is ‘the serpent’ (Gen. 3:1) that brought death through his cunning temptation of Eve who then disobeyed the LORD and invited Adam to do so, too. This disobedience of the LORD led to spiritual death (no longer able to appear before the LORD in the garden) leading to mortality – no longer in the image of God (Gen. 3:10). The LORD is a God of life and not death.

We now turn to the Gospel reading from Mark. These two narratives are found in both Matthew and Luke following the chiastic style. I notice that Mark, though the shortest of the Gospels, gives more details to the two narratives as he does to the Gerasene story preceding these in chapter 5:1-20 and to the context leading to the beheading of John the Baptist (6:15-29). Jairus, one of the leaders of the synagogue, comes up to Jesus begging him repeatedly to come and heal his 12 year old daughter who is on the point of death. Jesus unhesitatingly goes with him with his disciples and the crowd following him. Among the crowd is a woman who has suffered 12 years from a bleeding ailment which no doctor could heal. She has heard about Jesus and surreptitiously reaches out to touch his garment believing that she will be cured. She feels the power of her healing and, of course, so does Jesus. She is found out and faces Jesus, telling him her story. What does this compassionate and patient healer say to her? “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” (v. 34). Her illness, which had made her religiously unclean, and in danger of death, is healed by the Giver of Life.

 Paul speaks about Jesus becoming poor so that we may be rich and encourages us to give of our abundance to others. John in 10:10 has Jesus saying: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” What is more abundant than being healed of religious impurity and being able to be included in the people of God?

For Reflection and Discussion: 1. The response to the psalm is surely what the woman and young girl would have felt and sung in their hearts: ‘I will extol you LORD for you have raised me up’. Can you recall a time when this was your song?

Bibliography: The Daily Missal. Paulines (2012); Gospel of Mark, Study Guide SG202. Catholic Bible College, Johannesburg (2007); biblegateway.com – NRSVCE.

This week’s Sunday Liturgy Commentary was prepared by
Bernadette Teresa Chellew, South Africa, Bat Kol Alumna: 2008

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