THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2013
FAITH NOT FEAR
Today’s gospel: Mark 5:21-43
Faith works wonders. In today’s gospel, Jesus performs
two miracles--the healing of the woman with a hemorrhage and
the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead. Both
were due to faith--that of the woman and that of Jairus.
see that Jesus was approached by the woman and Jairus because
they had heard of him. “She had heard about Jesus”
(Mk 5:27a). People need to hear about Jesus so that they can
believe. They heard, and so they believed that Jesus could
do wonders. “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be
cured.” (Mk 5:28). “Please, come lay your hands
on her that she may get well and live.” (Mk 5:23c).
faith is professed either on our own behalf or on behalf of
others. The woman sought healing for herself. Jairus sought
healing for his daughter. Often people do not even see their
need for Jesus. They will not seek him out, nor ask for healing
or liberation. But we know, not just our own need, but also
the need of others. People need to meet Christ and start to
live in him. Thus we in faith must act to bring others to
Christ, or in the case of Jairus’ daughter, bring Christ
there is faith, there is liberation--physical, emotional,
spiritual. Jesus said to the woman, “Daughter, your
faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
(Mk 5:34). She was physically healed of being “afflicted
with hemorrhages for twelve years.” (Mk 5:25). As “she
had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had
spent all that she had” (Mk 5:26), she must have been
an emotional wreck. But now she could go in peace. Finally,
she experienced the personal touch of her Savior and Lord.
She “fell down before Jesus” (Mk 5:33b). She had
Now to come into the presence of the living God is awesome,
even terrifying. “The woman, realizing what had happened
to her, approached in fear and trembling.” (Mk 5:33a).
We too, especially when we experience the wonders of God,
or even when we ourselves perform greater works, ought to
be in awe of His divine majesty. But we should never let this
keep us from approaching him. We must not be afraid in that
told Jairus, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
(Mk 5:36b). Other translations render it this way: “Do
not fear, only believe.” (NRSV). “Fear is useless.
What is needed is trust.” (NAB). Thus synonyms of “to
have faith” are “to believe” and “to
trust.” The interesting thing is that the opposite of
faith is not lack of faith, but fear. David says, “my
heart does not fear; .... even then do I trust.” (Ps
27:3); “I trust in God, I do not fear.” (Ps 56:5b).
keeps us from approaching Jesus. Fear paralyzes us in living
our lives for Jesus. Fear prevents us from proclaiming the
us then trust in the God who loves us, who heals us, who has
given his very life for us, who promises to be with us till
the end of the age. Let us not be afraid of the call to the
New Evangelization, even in the face of strong forces against
us. Let us proclaim Christ, and know that faith works wonders.
“At that they were utterly astounded.” (Mk 5:42b).