1.There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to Jesus, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” And he looked around to see who had done it. The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction”(Mk5:25-34). Taken from today’s gospel.
2.Even though all life must end with death, God is the God of the living not of the dead(Mk12:27). For this reason Jesus spared no time in relieving any suffering that could lead to the loss of life. While on his way to the house of synagogue official whose daughter was at the point of death, Jesus had a faith encounter with a woman suffering from hemorrhage. The details are quite overwhelming: the woman has been ill for twelve years. She has suffered in the hands of many doctors. She has spent all her money. Her situation was getting worse. The picture is a hopeless one.
3.The woman had never heard or met Christ directly. She only heard about him and his deeds from other people. The reason is obvious. Among the Jews her kind of sickness renders the sufferer impure, thus unfit to mix up with people. But having heard of Jesus she was ready to break the law of Moses that confines her to solitude. She made up her mind to secretly encounter Jesus without raising any dust. “If I can only touch his garment I shall be healed.” She joined the anonymous crowd and struggled to reach Jesus. When she came near she secretly stretched out her hand and touched his garment. That touch of faith changed everything. What is hidden came to light because Jesus turned around to look at her. She has captured Jesus’ attention. “Who touched me?” was the surprising question. She owned up and told Jesus and the crowd everything. Jesus recognized her as daughter and encouraged her. “Daughter, your faith has saved you, go and be healed.”
4.So many were following Jesus, touching and pushing him such that asking who touched him was considered a foolish question by his disciples. But there are touches and there is touch, a touch of faith. Today so many people flock to places of worship looking for God but rarely seize the available opportunity before them. Many go back without having captured the attention of God. They come, listen to homilies but accept nothing of what they hear. Their problem come and go with them because like the crowd that followed Jesus, they touch him without being conscious. They see without perceiving. From the story of the woman cured of haemorrhage we can see that no case is a hopeless case for Jesus. No sickness is incurable for him who knit us together in our mother’s womb (Ps139). We only need to believe and take bold steps towards touching Jesus. His word is: “Do not fear. Only believe!”
5.You may have suffered for years from an illness, you may have tried doctors and spent all your money but you are not getting better. You may even be at the point of accepting to try an “Essau solution” of exchanging your birth right with a plate of porridge, a quick solution that cost much more than the problem that it solved. Calm down and give God a trial. Hold your faith and make your touch of faith. Daily you touch Jesus in the Eucharist. Allow your touch to take power out of Jesus. Like the psalmist, affirm that you will not die (Ps 118:17). Confess that “I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”(Ps 27:13). Do your part and God will not fail to prove his faithfulness. (Lam3:22-23). @Vita, 27/06/21.
Peace and security upon you.
Rev. Fr. Dr Vitalis Anaehobi
1st Deputy Secretary General
Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa
5/6 Christian Chukwu Street Gwarinpa Abuja P.O.Box12135 Garki Abuja, Nigeria
He saved me because he loves me (Ps 18,19)