Tuesday 1 February 2022
2 Samuel 18:9-10,14,24-25,30-19:3; Psalm 85(86):1-6; Mark 5:21-43
Women are right in the heart of Marks Gospel. Here, to emphasise their importance to Jesus, Mark crafts a sandwich, with one story (the healing of the woman with a heamorage) placed as an interlude inside the healing of the little girl. In each, Jesus treats women with tenderness and respect, despite the low status they would have endured in society at that time. One, untouchable because of the flow of her blood and the other, who was but yet a child, barely worth considering.
Both would have been loved and cared for by someone - Jesus restores them each to their own. So his healing touches not only those cured directly, but all of us.
We also have in this reading, some of the few words recorded, verbatim, of Jesus in his own tongue - "Talitha, Koum". Little Girl, wake up. Just as millions of parents, rouse up their little ones for the day, Jesus speaks in her tongue, directly to her. The command to give her something to eat touches on the need to give evidence that she is human and alive - not some sort of ghost. It is also a command to care for her - possibly even with a tinge of rebuke for not having done so before?
Although our society today is very much fairer than that of antiquity - we have no cause to rest easy. We should always be looking to help those in need - to be the one who can be touched and can heal, or to be the one who can care for a child or other weak person and protect them. Who will I allow to touch me today? Who will I wake up, and feed?