In today’s Gospel, we hear two stories of healing. A girl only twelve years old – she’s about to become an adult, but she’s at the point of death – and an adult woman who has suffered for twelve years from a painful and debilitating condition. In each case, it is faith that opens the way for Jesus to heal them. The little girl’s father, Jairus, is an official of the synagogue; a man who holds an important position in society. But he sets aside his status and his dignity, and begs Jesus to come to his daughter, believing that he has power to make her well. The woman reaches out to touch Jesus’ cloak as he passes, believing that this will be enough to cure her – and she is proved right.
Their faith prompts Jesus’ care and compassion for them. The woman is told, ‘Your faith has healed you – go in peace.’ The young girl is brought back from death and returned to her parents. God’s will is for every one of us to be alive and healthy, as we hear in today’s First Reading from the book of Wisdom.
Under the ritual rules of the Law, to touch a sick person, or a dead body, was to make yourself unclean. Jesus ignores such rules. The woman is healed by touching him, and he takes the young girl by the hand and restores her to life. We are all in need of Jesus’ healing touch, and all we have to do is reach out to him in faith.