Mk 5:21-43 Change of Plans
Are you suffering? Is there a war that is waging inside of you? The writer of Hebrews reminds us of how the Lord suffered and endured the cross, despising its shame, and taking his seat at the right of the throne of God. Now, “consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.” (Heb 12:4)
Strong words! You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. I had forgotten this small but astonishing truth. I struggle. God knows I struggle. I wish to be holy and yet I continue to fall into the same old, mundane and routine sins! How little I have changed! What good is it to continue to try? But the sacred writer wishes to remind me of something I tend to forget: You haven’t resisted to the point of shedding blood. This is the comfort I give to teenagers and adults who continue to struggle with the same sins over and over and over again. I tell them, “Relax. The good news is that you have yet to do everything to end this sin once and for all!” It seems to work because it is true.
Jairus was a man who was willing to give up everything for his daughter. He was a respected official; the entire town had come out to see Jesus; they also saw their leader, falling at the Lord’s feet. I can only guess how many of his close associates and friends must have told him not to come out, to get someone else to do it for him, or to greet the prophet like his equal. They definitely did not encourage him to fall at his feet!
From the Gospel passage, we can only imagine to what extent a man would keep his reputation at its highest level. But today we know what he would do to keep his daughter alive!
There was a woman who had suffered for twelve years with an incurable illness and a little girl of twelve who was in bed near the point of death. In both cases we see some striking similarities: the indiscriminate ravages of sin, the fear in their eyes, the suffering they must have endured, the need for immediate attention, and the number twelve.
The Lord must choose. To whom shall I go? To whom shall I send to the twelve tribes of Israel? Jesus must choose his Apostles, twelve of them, to preach and to heal in his name: Alleluia! Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases. Now, I must do the same thing!
What must I do? Go the extra mile like the Lord. He was walking. He was about to preach. But Jairus got there first. He came up to him. Change of plans. The woman who was suffering touched him. What did the Lord do? He stopped and talked to her. Change of plans! He let her go and gave her health of body, peace of mind and unquestionable love. He sacrificed himself everyday so that, eventually, He could sacrifice himself at the supreme level of love - No greater Love. Change of plans!
What am I supposed to do? Change your plans! Because, “whatever you do for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me.” This is one important way to carry our cross. This is how we spill our blood.