June 29, 2012

13th Sunday - B (July 1, 2012)

Mark 5: 21-43

The Sacrifice that Gives Life

Jesus' touch is the key action in this passage, with both miracles.

Jesus' touch restores the woman to health.  Moreover, it restores her sense of self and reinstates her to the community, since her physical illness has made her ritually unclean [1].  She can now live the full life of a person and a member of God's family.

Jesus touch restores the young woman to life and to her family.  Moreover, at twelve, she is old enough to get married [2].  Not only does Jesus' touch heal her, it enables her to give life.

Significantly, by touching these women, Jesus risks his reputation and ultimately, his own life.  He touches a dead body, which by ritual laws, made him unclean.  Then, in the social and religious climate of his time, it was a taboo for a man who is not a family member, and worse, a religious teacher, to touch a woman of "marriageable age"  [3].

Here, we have two examples of Jesus risking his reputation and even his safety for the well-being of others.
The touch that costs him his life is the touch that makes us whole, gives us life, and enables us to be life-giving.

Citations all taken from  Francis J. Moloney, This is the Gospel of the Lord - Year B.  Homebush, NSW, Australia: St. Paul Publications,1993; p. 160-161

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