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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Tuesday 4th in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Mk 5,21-43): Jesus crossed to the other side of the lake (…). Jairus, an official of the synagogue, came up and seeing Jesus, threw himself at his feet and asked him earnestly, «My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her so that she may get well and live».

Jesus went with him and many people followed, pressing from every side. Among the crowd was a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a lot at the hands of many doctors and had spent everything she had, but instead of getting better, she was worse. Since she had heard about Jesus, this woman came up behind him and touched his cloak thinking, «If I just touch his clothing, I shall get well». Her flow of blood dried up at once, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her complaint (…). Then Jesus said to her, «Daughter, your faith has saved you; go in peace and be free of this illness».

While Jesus was still speaking, some people arrived from the official's house to inform him, «Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Master any further?». But Jesus ignored what they said and told the official, «Do not fear, just believe» (…).

The prayer, a struggle "hand to hand” with God

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, we consider the prayer as a struggle of faith and a victory of perseverance. In "Genesis" (ch. 32), that mysterious "hand to hand" struggle, between Jacob and God, announces something of what we can now see in the "bleeding woman" and Jairus.

Prayer requires trust, closeness, in a symbolic "hand to hand" with God, as in the woman who was subject to bleeding: "If I can touch…". The "battle" implies strength of soul, perseverance, tenacity in reaching what we desire before a blessing Lord who remains always mysterious, who appears unattainable. And if the object of one’s desire is a relationship with God, His blessing and His love, then the battle cannot but culminate in the gift of oneself to God in the recognition of one’s own weakness, which triumphs precisely when we reach the point of surrendering ourselves into the merciful hands of God: "Your faith has saved you".

—When nobody listens to me anymore, when I can no longer invoke anyone, when the problem seems to overflow all hopes —such was the situation with Jairus— God still listens to me and helps me.