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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Jesus the Healer 


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Today is the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time for year B, and this year the church continues the journey through the Gospel of Mark in order by focusing on a very important healing of Jesus, and that's the healing — it’s kind of a double healing — of the woman with a hemorrhage and the raising of Ja’irus’ daughter. So these can both be found in Mark 5, so we’re going to look at that reading for the gospel today with the focus on the theme of Jesus the healer, and look at how he comes to save us and deliver us not just from suffering, but also from death itself. Before we actually read the gospel I just want to make one important literary observation. You’ll notice that what Mark is giving us here is a story inside another story. So he begins with the raising of Ja’irus’ daughter, he then switches to the woman with a hemorrhage, and than he finishes with the account of what actually happened to the daughter of Ja’irus. Scholars have come up with the somewhat infelicitous expression, the “Markan Sandwich,” because he's sandwiching one story between two others, or inserting one story into the middle of another frame, and it's just something to keep an eye on; it’s something that’s kind of distinctive of Mark's gospel. And, in this case, it is an interesting juxtaposition, an interesting insertion, because in both cases the suffering that’s involved is linked to the number 12. So as we’re going to see, the little girl is 12 years old and the woman who has had the hemorrhage has had it for 12 years, and that might be one of the reasons Mark juxtaposes these two — in addition to the fact that they happen at the same time.  One miracle happens on the way to the performance of another miracle. So just with that literary observation of the Markan Sandwich in mind, let's read the gospel for today...


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