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The official’s daughter and the woman with a hemorrhage

Gospel Reading: Mt 9:18-26

While Jesus was speaking to the crowd, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples. A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.”

Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” And from that hour the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. And news of this spread throughout all that land.

REFLECTION
MY DAUGHTER HAS JUST DIED…
LAY YOUR HAND ON HER, AND SHE WILL LIVE

The NRSV identifies the official who comes to Jesus as “a leader of the synagogue.” Being a leader means that he is in some way a representative of his people. He also symbolizes the way things are. He stands for the “old”; he is about to encounter the dramatically “new” in the raising up of his dead daughter.

On the way to the leader’s house, Jesus encounters another urgent request. A woman with a flow of blood for a dozen years modestly comes up behind Jesus and touches the tassel on his cloak. Because of her constant bleeding, this woman is ritually unclean (cf Lv 15:25-33) and not allowed human touch. She reasons to herself, however, that touching the outer portion of Jesus’ clothing will be sufficient for her to be made well (cf v 21). When she does so, Jesus turns around, sees her, and says to her, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you” (v 22). In other words, her healing is not the result of any magic conjured up by her touching his garment, but the effect of her faith in Jesus’ power to heal.

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Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel (cf 2 Tm 1:10).

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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