Taking her by the hand he said to her, "Tal'itha cu'mi"; which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise." And immediately the girl got up and walked (she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat (Mk 5:41-42).
Today is the feast of St. Cyril of Alexandria which is superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.
The first reading is taken from the Book of Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24 and references a truth which is clearly stated for the first time in the whole Old Testament — man's real destiny is an unending life with God.
The second reading is from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15. St. Paul urges the Corinthians to give generously toward the collection he is organizing for the poor Jewish converts in Palestine.
The Gospel is from St. Mark 5:21-43 or 5:21-24, 35-43. Today's gospel gives us two further proofs of the divine power and the infinite mercy of our Savior. Apart from the primary purpose of proving his claim to be the promised Messiah, all his miracles had as their aim and end — the benefit of suffering human beings. He worked no miracle for the sake of astonishing people or to satisfy idle gossip. Each one was performed in order to help someone in distress. All who were helped by his miracles of mercy had one thing in common — they were motivated by trust in his mercy and power. The leper in Matthew (8:2) expressed the sentiments of them all: "Lord, if only you will you can cleanse me (of my leprosy)." In many cases, as for instance that of Jarius above, it was a relative or friends who showed this faith and confidence. It was always present either in the fortunate person or in the relative or friend who asked for the miracle.
The Gospels give us only some of the many miracles our Lord worked. They give them to prove that he was what he claimed to be — the Son of God and the long-expected Savior; and also to prove his compassionate understanding and sympathy for suffering humanity.
We must not forget, however, that the meaning of his miracles and his mission was lost on thousands of his contemporaries in Palestine, small though the country was. While great throngs followed our Lord and listened to his message and were interested in his mission, still great throngs remained at home, stolidly immersed in their worldly tasks and thoughts. They heard rumors about the man from Nazareth who was said to be the Messiah, and was supposed to be able to work miracles, but they were too practical, too sensible to listen to such rumors. Anyway they had no interest in the Messiah, or in silly spiritual things, they were fully occupied with their financial and worldly interests.
Has the world changed much in nineteen centuries? How many millions of nominal Christians ignore Christ and his Gospel today, millions who are too practical, too down-to-earth to waste time on such a silly thing as their eternal salvation! How many millions are spiritually sick and dying but who have not the faith, humility and confidence of Jairus, to cast themselves at the feet of Jesus and ask him to cure them? How fortunate would not people be if they would repeat the leper's prayer: "Lord, if only you will you can make me clean"; if they could, like the suffering woman in today's Gospel, break through the throng of worldly pride, worldly interests and worldly associates and touch the hem of his garment; if they had the faith of Jairus; if only they could say to our Lord "come and lay your hands upon me so that I may be made well and live."?
Today, let us say a fervent prayer of thanksgiving to God for the gift of active faith which he has given us and beg of him to keep that faith ever alive in our breasts. Let us think, too, of our fellowmen, our brothers in Christ, who are so busy with their worldly occupations and pleasures that they cannot find time to listen to his message. They are spiritually anemic and almost spiritually dead, but cannot push their way toward Christ through the throngs of earthly, worldly barricades which they have built about themselves. Our sincere prayers can help them to overcome these obstacles; frequently and fervently let us ask God to send them his efficacious grace so that these brothers in Christ will also be with him in heaven.
—Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
This is Brotherhood Sunday! Human experience confirms the need of this Divine teaching. Only when the Fatherhood of God is recognized, will the Brotherhood of Man be realized. Returning good for evil is possible only to those who love God (Epistle). Oh, how much our hate-torn world needs this prayer: "Pour into our hearts. . .an experience of They Love" (Prayer).
In the practice of the Golden Rule, we plead with the Divine"Helper" against worldly persecution (Introit) and diabolical "enemies" (Postcommunion).
How can one who harbors anger, envy, bitterness, indifference, aversion of any kind against his neighbor, have part in the Sacrifice of Him Who offers Himself for His enemies? The sacrifice of our selfish or even wounded feelings for Christ's sake, is a most acceptable "gift" to "leave. . .before the altar" (Gospel).
—Excerpted from My Sunday Missal, Confraternity of the Precious Blood