You will remember last week's gospel - the apostles in the midst of the storm, afraid they would not make it to the other side, even though Christ was with them? The Lord in fact brought peace to the raging waters. Now he would be the instrument for harmony in the midst of a social battlefield for the future dignity of humanity.
Whereas in today's Gospel passage (Mark 5:21- 43) everything takes place at once, in our own experience -be it as a community, as a nation, in our families or within our own lives - the tensions we experience in our lives and the forces at play in our world can seem to be often drawn out over time, decades, even centuries. It is therefore worth reflecting on the following.
There is a father, a man of considerable influence in his community who faces the death of his daughter. There is a mother, who is practically penniless and has been cut off from her family because her sickness. In both these scenarios the gift of faith is aroused, not from an outside force, but from within them. Both the man and the woman have now the opportunity to make a move in the direction of God as the ultimate source for the healing of body and soul.
Much like when Christ had to quiet the storm at sea, now he has to quiet down the crowd. But the difference is, whereas when he was with them in the boat, his own disciples lacked faith while they were caught up in the midst of the storm, the man and the woman in today's Gospel in the midst of a storm of the crowd pushing and shoving them in so many different directions, demonstrated great courage and faith.
This gospel passage also shows us that, “alongside the healing of wounds of body and mind, Jesus also forgives the sins which affect the spirit – he removes the weakness of the flesh and thus is able to heal the whole person [body and soul]” (c.f. St. Ambrose Expos. Gospel of Luke 5.12-13)