This is a very long gospel reading in the lectionary. It includes both the raising of a little girl and the healing of an elderly woman. Only the final paragraph is given here. It narrates the climax of the raising of Jairus’ daughter. This is the only account in the Gospel of Mark of the raising of a person from the dead. We might recall the detailed story of the raising of Lazarus in John chapter 11. Both these accounts invite us to reflect on the gift of eternal life promised us by Jesus.
The theme of life after death is introduced in the first reading for today’s Mass, from the Book of Wisdom. The writer explains that death was ‘not God’s doing’, but is a consequence of ‘the devil’s envy’. Human beings are not made for death but for eternal life with God. This is demonstrated definitively in the resurrection of Jesus.
The evangelist records the Aramaic words Talitha kum used by Jesus on this occasion. When these words are translated into the Greek of the gospel the expression ‘get up’ employs a word commonly associated in the New Testament with the resurrection of Jesus. Another Greek word used of the resurrection occurs when the evangelist reports that the little girl ‘got up’. The mighty works of Jesus are not simply meant to provoke astonishment and wonder among the witnesses. They also point Christian listeners to belief in the resurrection.
How do the miracles of Jesus relate to the fundamental gospel message?
What in particular strikes you about the raising of Jairus’ daughter?
Pray for a deeper understanding of the gospel.
Pray for those who are fearful of sickness and death.