“My son Absalom, would that I had died instead of you.”
A reading from the second Book of Samuel (2 Samuel 18:9 -10, 14b, 24-25a, 30—19:3)
In those days: Absalom chanced to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding upon his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak, and his head caught fast in the oak, and he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on. And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, “Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.” And Joab took three darts in his hand, and thrust them into the heart of Absalom. Now David was sitting between the two gates; and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate by the wall, and when he lifted up his eyes and looked, he saw a man running alone. And the watchman called out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is alone, there are tidings in his mouth.” And the king said, “Turn aside, and stand here.” So he turned aside, and stood still. And behold, the Cushite came; and the Cushite said, “Good tidings for my lord the king! For the Lord has delivered you this day from the power of all who rose up against you.” The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you for evil, be like that young man.” And the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he wept, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” It was told Joab, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people; for the people heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” And the people stole into the city that day as people steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 86: 1-2.3-4.5-6 (R/. la)
R/. Turn your ear, O Lord, and answer me.
Turn your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my soul, for I am faithful;
save the servant who trusts in you, my God. R/.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for I cry to you all the day long.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for I lift up my soul to you, O Lord. R/.
R/. Turn your ear, O Lord, and answer me.
O Lord, you are good and forgiving,
full of mercy to all who call to you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer,
and attend to my voice in supplication. R/.
ALLELUIA Matthew 8: 17
Alleluia. Christ took our infirmities and bore our diseases. Alleluia.
“Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 5:21-43)
At that time: When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him; and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and seeing him, he fell at his feet, and begged him, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live. ”And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well.” And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?”’ And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, he saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them,-“Why do you make a tumult and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi”; which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and walked; for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Of the two miracles contained in today’s gospel reading, bringing back to life jarius’ daughter was the greater. Jarius faith however was tested the more. Being a synagogue official he humbled himself and fell at the feet of Jesus in public. Having gotten the attention of Jesus, his patience was tried as Jesus stopped and insisted on identifying who touched him in the pressing crowd. He escaped falling into anger and disappointment towards Jesus for delaying, when the news of his daughter’s death reached him. Finally, he allowed his friends to be shown the door because of his faith in Jesus. We must allow Jarius’ journey of faith to speak to us about the demands our faith may make of us; humility, patience, trust, fortitude and more. Yes! Only have faith! But then, remember that faith in God necessarily includes faith in God’s design and timing.