In today’s Gospel, the woman is healed “because of her faith. Jarius’ daughter is raised from the dead after Jarius and his wife were asked to have faith. During his homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta Pope Francis said, “Our faith is an encounter with Jesus. This is the foundation. To have encountered Jesus, as Saul did is a way that is specific to a time, a place, an event, a moment to which we can point and say “There. That’s when everything changed.”
The healing miracles in the Gospels were examples of that personal experience of that encounter with Jesus. But they also leave us with questions. Scripture scholar John J. Pilch provides us with some insights on this below:
First – a question: Jesus didn’t heal everyone. Why was that?
The woman tried everything that the world could offer – but it wasn’t enough. She certainly came to Jesus with a sense of hope. Did she not go to the other doctors with a sense of hope? Could not have God worked through the hands of the physicians to heal the woman? Wasn’t this just another option? Why was her encounter with Jesus different?
Was something else going on here besides just a medical miracle?
Medical personnel readily recognize that to be healed, an ill person must have faith in the treatment. They must believe in the possibility of getting well and truly desire to be whole again. Jesus healed people who wanted to be healed.
Third Point – it’s about witness:
Jesus did not come to earth to just be “the guy who goes around curing people.” He did not want to be known as just “The great healer.” What he did wasn’t about medicine, it was about faith.
This is why he searched out the women:
- He was looking to affirm her.
- Jesus is thrilled to find faith in this Galilean crowd.
- While most in the crowd thronged Him outwardly, she connected with Him inwardly through her faith.
- So Jesus wants to acknowledge her faith as a witness to others.
Fourth Point – There is no indication that cures by Jesus were expected to be permanent. Because there is a difference between “being healed” and “being cured.”
A cure is addressing the malady under which a person is currently suffering.
- Being healed is much deeper involving the total integration of mind, body, psyche and spiritual soul.
- Healing is also the restoration of meaning or the inclusion of new purpose to people’s lives no matter what their physical condition might be.
- For example, through the sacraments, especially the 2 “Sacraments of Healing.” Jesus doesn’t readily offer a cure, but healing takes place infallibly, 100 percent of the time.
- This is so that people can regain meaning in life and resume their rightful place in society.
Final point – what does that “rightful place” look like for you and me? His command, “Go in peace!” (Mark 5:34; Luke 8:48), literally means, “Go into peace.” This means to take our hurt into a new situation, and take Christ’s healing power there with you.
Audio version of the homily is here: