13th Sunday In Ordinary Time Year B by Fr. Isaac A. Mensah

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13th Sunday In Ordinary Time Year B by Fr. Isaac A. Mensah

First Reading: Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13
Second Reading: Second Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
Gospel: Mark 5:21-43 or 5:21-24, 35-43

Theme: “If I just touch his clothes”


Last Sunday Jesus demonstrated that he has power over the forces of nature by calming the storm to the amusement of his disciples. Today in our readings he is showing us that he has power over man’s greatest enemy i.e. death by raising Jairus’ daughter and healing the woman with the flow of blood. Jesus allowed himself to be touched by someone considered to be unclean and he also touched that which is also unclean i.e. corpse.

Explanation of the text

Touching, like hugging and other forms of gentle, direct bodily contact, express love and acceptance of the other person in ways that words cannot. Touching is a two-way traffic; it affects both the person touched and the person doing the touching.

Traditional societies regulated touching by making rules regarding who and what could or could not be touched. It was believed that touching the wrong persons and things would defile the one doing the touching and render him or her unclean. According to ancient Jewish ritual law, the woman suffering from hemorrhage was in a state of impurity and any person who touched her or anything that had come in contact with her was instantly rendered impure (Leviticus 15:19-30). Holy people such as priests were forbidden to touch dead bodies or they would incur defilement (Leviticus 21:1-12).

Today’s gospel, therefore, is not simply a story of Jesus’ power to heal the sick and raise the dead. It is also a story of Jesus giving and restoring life by doing exactly what he was not supposed to do, namely, touching and letting himself be touched by those whom the Law had declared unclean and untouchable.

Even though our gospel reading today tells two very different stories, they’re connected: a parent desperately trying to save his daughter and an unamed woman desperately trying to save herself.

He is a parent. Her illness has likely prevented her from that role.

-He is a man of privilege – with name and title given. She is a nobody – an unwoman.

-He is a religious leader. She has been cast out by her religion.

-He is wealthy. She’s spent everything she had on failed attempts at cures.

-He approaches Jesus with a formal request. She pushes her way forward and doesn’t ask permission

This shows that though we may have different stories and our cases may not be the same yet somehow they’re connected. One thing that both Jairus and the woman demonstrated was faith. In their state of loneliness, depression, anxiety and perplexity they were looking for a touch. This touch is not an ordinary touch but that which isn’t only soothing but which brings life to the dying.

Our first reading tells us that, death came about as a result of the devil and it is something that is extraneous to man. Today Jesus has proven that he has power over death. The second reading helps to understand that Jesus Christ will do everything possible to save us for it reads “as Christ became poor for our sake, so must we share with those in need from our abundance”. May dear people of God what Christ requires from us is a leap of faith. May our choices in life be guided by our faith and not fear.



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