The readings for Sunday, June 28, 2015:
First Reading: Lamentations 3:22-33
First Reading (Semi-cont.): 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27
First Reading (Alt.): Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Psalm: Psalm 30
Psalm (Semi-cont.): Psalm 130
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:7-15
Gospel: Mark 5:21-43
Notice how rooted in physicality is our Gospel for Sunday. We've got a bleeding woman and a dying girl. At the end of the Gospel, Jesus orders food for the no longer dead girl. The Gospel practically oozes on the page.
Notice too how we've got a variety of people--all they have in common is their fierce belief and their willingness to do whatever it takes for healing. They will ignore all the years of ill health. They will ignore their rational voices that say that one man can't bring health. Even when they're surrounded by naysayers, they believe. They will ignore death, so powerful is their hope.
Notice that in this passage Jesus focuses his attention on some of the most outcast of his society: a little girl and a bleeding woman. If you've studied the Old Testament, you understand how outcast a woman who never stopped bleeding would be. Ancient purity codes were quite strict about body fluids, particularly when they came from women. And a female child would have also been seen as expendable, at least in the larger society. Yet Jesus doesn't withhold his power from them, even if they're not important to the larger society.
This Gospel echoes the story we heard last week. Here is Jesus again, talking to his disciples about their fears. Here is Jesus, doing what should be impossible for humans to do. Last week he's controlling nature. This week, we seem him controlling the human body. We even see him overcome death.
These stories make me think about my own faith, particularly during these hot, hazy days of summer, when it seems impossible to get off the couch. What would inspire me to go to Jesus in a similar way? I try to imagine Jesus saying to me "Daughter, your faith has made you well." I think of all the ways that my faith can--and does--fall short.
But let me not start down the spiral of self-recrimination. Let me use these ancient people pursuing restored health to inspire me to pursue Jesus with similar determination.
feeling the feelings…
1 year ago