XIII SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE B – 2015
· We continue with the theme of trust, trust in the healing power of Jesus, power even over death.
FIRST READING – Wis 1:13-15. 2,23-24
THE BOOK OF WISDOM
v The book of Wisdom belongs to the group of Wisdom books.
v It is neither found in the canon of the Hebrew Bible nor in the protestant. These books which are not included in the Hebrew Bible are called Deuterocanonical, or belonging to the second list
v The original title of the book is Book of Solomon Wisdom. The Wisdom books were attributed to Solomon because he had been a wise king, but they were written long time after him.
v The author joins in his book the Greek culture and the Semite.
v This book is in reality about politics, it develops the theme of justice in the government.
v We find in this book also the theme of immortality of the human being, theme which is not found in the other wisdom books.
Let us see what is the message of today’s reading
God is the God of life and not of death; this has not been made by him.
He does not destroy his creation.
He has fashioned the human beings to give them life and not to destroy them.
Truly if we look around us we will realize how much God loves his creation, which is the work of his love and of his willingness to share with us his happiness.
Today’s Reading says that God has made man to be immortal. This belief will be preparing the human race for the revelation of the resurrection, because we have been created for immortality.
In the people of Israel in the Old Testament, immortality was considered to be found in what you had done during your lifetime, your good works, your children, your writings, your wealth…
In this text we find what the book of Genesis will tell us, that man (man and woman) is created in the image of the divine nature.
It is difficult to explain the existence of evil since God has made everything good, but man discovers through shadows that there is evil, which can only touch those who willingly accept it in their lives.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 30:2.4.5-18.104.22.168
I WILL PRAISE YOU, LORD, FOR YOU HAVE RESCUED ME
I will extol you, O Lord, for you drew me clear
And did not let my enemies rejoice over me
O Lord, you brought me up from the netherworld,
You preserved me from among those
Going down into the pit.
Sing praise to the Lord, you his faithful one
And give thanks to his holy name
For his anger lasts for a moment
A lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in
But with the dawn, rejoicing.
Hear, O Lord, and have pity on me
O Lord, be my helper
You changed my mourning into dancing
O Lord, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
o The Hebrew edition of this psalm does not say you have rescued me, but “you have pulled me up” which means that when they were descending me into the pit, from above you pulled me up and gave me my life back.
o When sickness was taking me, you pulled me up and give my life back to me.
o The recitation of this psalm can help those who are sick.
GOSPEL Mk 4,35-41
We will reflect on two miracles which Mark puts together:
o The healing of the woman afflicted with hemorrhages
o The resurrection of Jairu’s daughter
We will try to find the reason for these two miracles to be intertwined in a technique called “sandwich”.
The narration begins with Jesus surrounded by a large crowd and a synagogue official begging him to come to his house because his little daughter is seriously ill.
o It is interesting to see this man coming to Jesus, I have heard several times people saying that parents will do anything it takes for their children.
o This man loves his child and does not want her to die.
o Jesus has healed other people, why not my daughter?
o Jesus walks toward this man’s house.
o But something happens on the way.
An anonymous woman, who we know only through her sickness, none of the gospels give her name. She approaches Jesus from behind.
She is also in need of healing from Jesus
This story has two sections:
o The healing
§ Mark uses here the popular believe of that time among the pagan cultures, that the healer has an energy in himself, that is why the woman wants to touch him or his clothing.
§ She does not want to be seen
§ Maybe she is ashamed of her sickness
§ Because this sickness made her legally impure, and who touches her or is touched by her becomes also legally impure, thus she cannot be among the crowd.
§ The doctors have not been able to help her. Mark wants us to be aware of the great healing power of Jesus, more powerful that all the doctors.
o Dialogue between Jesus and the woman
§ Jesus wants to make that woman visible, and he begins to dialogue with her
§ It is as if this woman had stolen a miracle from Jesus.
§ Jesus realizes that someone has touched him in a special way, here Mark uses again the pagan concept that a healing power comes out from the healer.
§ The woman has been healed, but Jesus wants to cure her completely, wants to save her.
§ To cure or to save goes beyond the physical healing.
§ After the resurrection, the followers of Jesus understood in this manner the miracles
§ The usual words of Jesus are, “your faith has saved you.”
After the narration of this miracle, we go back where we began when Jesus was following Jairus to his house.
o His daughter has already died.
o Jairus is distressed and those who surround him do not help him with is faith.
o Jesus comes to his help “do not be afraid; just have faith.”
o When Jesus enters into the house with James, John and Peter, nobody pays attention to them because they are weeping and wailing loudly for the girl’s death.
o Only the father has faith in Jesus.
o Jesus says that the girl is not dead, but she is sleeping.
o Jairus is asked to believe that her daughter will wake up, the Christian community looks at this event through the light of the paschal event.
Relationship between both miracles
o The healing of the woman has the purpose to lead the faith of the reader
o Who is invited as Jairus to believe in the resurrection power of Jesus.
o To the words of Jesus “do not be afraid…” the reader feels the desire to add “you will see Jairus if you believe everything will go well.”
o The reader understands that faith not only cures the sick, but it even kills death.
o The whole account is a catechesis on the resurrection.
In the whole account there is a process of maturing in faith
o The original faith of Jairus who trusts in Jesus
o The primitive faith of the woman who is led by her own interest gives way to
o Her faith transformed as Jesus dialogues with her.
o The faith of Jairus, is now a faith in the one who raises the dead.
o And this faith has to be kept in secret.
SECOND READING 2 Cor 8:7,9,13-15
v Paul writes to the community of Corinth about sharing the spiritual and material goods we have.
v Thus he invites them to reflect on what the Lord has done, being rich he has become poor, that through his poverty we may become rich.
v This does not mean that others should have relief while we are burdened.
v Rather it is a matter of equality, of sharing.
v Because the material abundance of the community of Corinth may provide for the other poorer community.
v And thus the abundance of faith of that community may help the community of Corinth.
Let the one who reads these notes not wonder to see them so disordered, because I never thought that I had to write such things. So, I started with such confusion and shame that I had not been able to do it in order. That’s why many things, which out to be at the beginning, are in the middle and others, which are to be in the middle are at the end. They will also miss the dates, because of my own carelessness but not for lack of truthfulness, since by the grace of God, I have always abhorred lies. Let it be for the glory of God and of the most Blessed Mother. María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 232.
The razor had cut clean through the flesh and sliced into the bone of the upper and lower jaw. Blood was gushing both outside and inside my mouth. I immediately pressed my right hand to my cheek to stop the torrent of blood, and my left hand to the wound in my right arm. We happened to be standing in front of an apothecary shop, and so I said, "Let's go in here; they'll have the medicines we need." Because all the civilian and military doctors had attended the sermon and had left the church at the same time we did, word soon got around and they were there in a moment. They were shocked at the sight of a bishop, vested in his mantle and pectoral, all bathed in blood--especially a bishop who was also a friend they all loved and revered. In fact, they were so overcome at the sight of me that I had to cheer them up and tell them what to do for me, since I myself was very tranquil and serene. Later the doctors said I must have lost no less than four-and-a-half pints of blood. With the loss of blood I felt somewhat faint, but I came to as soon as they gave me a little vinegar to smell. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 576.
CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiography.
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiography
La Biblia de nuestro pueblo, Introduction and Commentaries by Luis Alonso Schökel.