Today’s readings can be found here.
While he was thus 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.” And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. And behold, a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment; for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I shall be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players, and the crowd making a tumult, he said, “Depart; for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went through all that district.
Today’s Gospel holds two miracles together. The first one features a woman who had suffered from bleeding for 12 years, and the second one, a dying girl. I don’t mean to spoil it for you, but I think we all can anticipate that, in both cases, Jesus heals them.
Yet I think it is wrong to allow ourselves to be excessively distracted by how these situations end, because there are two noteworthy details that perhaps are keys to the whole passage.
The first concerns the child’s father: “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.’”
The second concerns the woman: “And behold, a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment; for she said to herself, ‘If I only touch his garment, I shall be made well.’”
A ruler who humbles himself, and a desperate woman who trusts with all her might.
Humility and trust are the fundamental messages of this passage. It is as if this story were to suggest that we might not have the power to work miracles, but that humility and trust in God make everything possible.
Indeed, our restlessness and anxiety come from our lack of humility and trust in God.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio’, Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.