Sunday, July 05, 2009

Gospel for Monday, 14th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: St Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr

From: Matthew 9:18-26

The Raising of Jairus' Daughter
[18] While He (Jesus) was speaking to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before Him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live." [19] And Jesus rose and followed him, with His disciples.

The Curing of the Woman with a Hemorrhage
[20] And behold, a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His garment; [21] for she said to herself, "If I only touch His garment, I shall be made well." [22] Jesus turned, and seeing her He said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well. [23] And when Jesus came to the ruler's house, and saw the flute players, and the crowd making a tumult, [24] He said, "Depart; for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at Him. [25] But when the crowd had been put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. [26] And the report of this went through all that district.
18-26. Here are two miracles which occur almost simultaneously. From parallel passages in Mark (5:21-43) and Luke (8:40-56) we know that the "ruler" (of the synagogue) referred to here was called Jairus. The Gospels report Jesus raising three people to life--this girl, the son of the widow of Nain, and Lazarus. In each case the identity of the person is clearly given.

This account shows us, once again, the role faith plays in Jesus' saving actions. In the case of the woman with the hemorrhage we should note that Jesus is won over by her sincerity and faith: she does not let obstacles get in her way. Similarly, Jairus does not care what people will say; a prominent person in his city, he humbles himself before Jesus for all to see.

18. "Knelt before Him": the eastern way of showing respect to God or to important people. In the liturgy, especially in the presence of the Blessed Eucharist, reverences are a legitimate and appropriate external sign of internal faith and adoration.

23. "The flute players": engaged to provide music at wakes and funerals.

24. "Depart, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping": Jesus says the same thing about Lazarus: "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him" (John 11:11).

Although Jesus speaks of sleep, there is no question of the girl--or Lazarus, later--not being dead. For our Lord there is only one true death--that of eternal punishment (cf. Matthew 10:28).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

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