Fr. Mike’s Homily for Tuesday of 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches
Homily for Tuesday February 1 2022
When Jesus had crossed again [in the boat] to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him, he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.
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 him, “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.”
While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. [At that] they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.
The Gospel reading today is a literary style called ‘inclusion’ – one event is contained inside another. There are two miracles that are made to look like just one event because they are contained in a single storyline. The first miracle is about the healing of the sick daughter of Jairus, a synagogue official. And while Jesus was on the way to the house to heal the girl, a woman with chronic hemorrhages gets healed when she touched the hem of His garment.
These two miracles bring into focus the lesson on hope. With Jesus, there is always hope for salvation, even in the most hopeless situations. With Jesus, it is never too late for those who have indomitable faith and trust. After all, with Jesus, nothing is impossible.
If we put ourselves in the shoes of either of these two characters in the story – Jairus and the hemorrhaging woman – we may be tempted to think that everything is too late. Jairus has already received the news that his daughter has just died. How can she be healed when she is already dead? Perhaps he must have silently blamed the woman for causing undue delay to Jesus. For her part, the woman must have already been convinced that she cannot be cured anymore. Twelve years of suffering this ailment is enough indication that her case is hopeless.
But, fortunately, both of them did not give up. Jesus encouraged the grieving father: “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” Despite all the proofs of death in front of his eyes, Jairus believed the words of the Lord. His daughter was raised back to life. On the other hand, the woman, pinning her last strand of hope on Jesus, mustered all her courage to come near Him: “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” And she was healed, even without Jesus noticing her. And the Lord acknowledged her extraordinary faith: “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
When things seem hopeless, we just hold on to faith in Jesus. We do not need to do anything else – only believe. He has His own plan and timetable for everything. We just need to trust Him completely. He is never late.
This fact is abundantly illustrated all throughout the Gospels. It was not too late for the son of the widow of Naim whose dead body was about to be buried. It was not too late for Lazarus who was already four days dead and buried. It was not too late for the woman with the hemorrhage, for the blind men, for the leper, for the paralytic and many others who were touched by the healing hands of Jesus. And He offers not only physical healing, but, more importantly, forgiveness and salvation as well. It was not too late for the Prodigal Son, for the Good Thief, for Saul of Tarsus, for St. Augustine and for countless sinners called to conversion and new life.
God cannot be late! Hope always abounds for one who puts complete trust in God. St. John of the Cross gives the following words of encouragement: “Live in faith and hope, though it be in darkness, for in this darkness God protects the soul. Cast your care upon God for you are His and He will not forget you. Do not think that He is leaving you alone, for that would be to wrong Him.”
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches