Gospel Mark 5:21-24,35-43

Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed him

There is something particularly beautiful about the fact that, despite the incomprehensible cosmic powers of God, that he comes to us through this mode of humble encounter.

Fr Luigi Giussani wrote that the word “encounter” implies, first, something unexpected and surprising. Second, it implies something real, that really touches us, is of interest to our lives. Understood in that way, every encounter is unique and its determining circumstances will never again be repeated because each encounter is a particular example of that “voice that calls each one by name.” Every encounter is a great opportunity offered to our freedom by God’s mystery.’ (JTE, 91)

We see that, throughout history, God reveals himself by way of a series of encounters. This was true in the Old Testament, but even more so, and perhaps even more unexpectedly in the New Testament.

In today’s Gospel we read of the healing of the daughter of Jairus, one of the synagogue officials. The event which unfolds is no doubt miraculous, and worth meditating upon. For Jairus though this encounter with Jesus comes as an opportunity offered to his freedom. He has the freedom to walk away, and shrug off any feeling of intrigue or desire stirred by Jesus, or to follow that stirring in his heart. He presses on and, following the deepest desires of his heart, throws himself at the feet of Jesus, begging him to do something for his daughter. This is perhaps the greatest exercise of freedom that Jairus could display.

Recognising his profound need, and the unfathomable power that was before him under the guise of this otherwise ordinary man, Jarius acts.

This is something fundamental to the Christian life – to recognise not only our need, but the capacity of God to meet that need, not in any meagre way, but beyond what we could even imagine.

Point to Ponder

‘Jesus came to provide the ultimate answer to the yearning for life and for the infinite which his Heavenly Father had poured into our hearts when he created us.’

Pope St John Paul II, World Youth Day 1992