Creighton University's Online Ministries
July 5th, 2010
Department of Journalism
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Today’s gospel from Matthew shows us the power of faith but as I reflected on this passage, Jesus’ kindness to the woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years began to haunt me. It was so extraordinary from everything I know about that era. It speaks not only to the power of faith but of our duty to respect the outcasts of all eras. I tried to imagine how I would have felt if I were a village woman watching the scene as I walked home from the well and got caught in the crowd:
I can’t believe I’m actually seeing this Jesus that everyone talks about. Of all the roads he could have chosen, he picked mine and just as I’m coming home from the well. It’s about the only time I can get away from the house but no use complaining. Who would pay attention to a mere woman? That’s the way it has always been and probably always will be.
Oh my God! I can’t believe what ‘s happening! That woman who has been hemorrhaging for 12 years has just pushed her way up to Jesus and she’s touching his robe! She’s unclean. Her disease makes her an outcast. I’ve always pitied her but I’d be in trouble with the authorities if I tried to help her. That’s too dangerous! Who knows what my husband might do? I can’t afford to take risks. But please don’t let any of the men around Jesus hurt her or push her away. She suffers so much! Please God, help her.
What’s this? Did I hear it right? Jesus is talking to her???? An unclean woman? And now she’s walking away smiling the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen. Everyone is crowding around Jesus in all the excitement but the man next to me just said something about Jesus telling her to have courage because her faith had saved her. This is unreal! We’ve all been afraid to go near her for years and now Jesus gives her back her life in an instant. The authorities and their rules about unclean women don’t scare him!
I need to go home. The crowd and Jesus have moved on but I’m still standing here trying to absorb what I saw. For years I have seen that poor woman hovering on the edge of our village with all of us scared to go near her. But now Jesus has transformed her. But I feel transformed too. I think I just saw a miracle but there’s another one unfolding in my heart.
to the writer of this reflection.
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