Sunday 27 June 2021
Sunday 13 Year B
The Resurrection of Jairus’ Daughter
Talitha qoum: ‘Little girl arise, stand, endure’. At Christmas we read the beautiful and powerful prophecy of Isaiah which makes the contrast between all flesh which is like grass, and the Word of God who endures for ever. God created us for incorruption, to share his immortality. It was the evil one who deceived our first parents and who was chiefly responsible for death coming into the world. We bear the image of God in this desire of our hearts for immortality. The fact that Our Lord overturned the sentence of death for an individual shows, at the very least, that the sentence of death is not irreversible, It gives way before the word of power uttered by our Leader to life, for the benefit of the whole human race. Just as the Word of God endures for ever, so shall the power of that Word be manifest eternally in the resurrection of the body.
The word of power, Talitha quoum, is dependent on the faith of Jairus, the distraught parent. He is afflicted with fear for his daughter which causes his faith to waver. We all know how faith diminishes our freedom by subjecting us to instinctive reactions and inclining us to look to human ingenuity to support and help us rather than to believe and to hope in God. Let us not forget the example of Abraham, our father in faith, who gave glory to God by his steadfastness in faith and his hope in the promise. Jairus’ position is one with which we can all identify in some degree:the uncertainty of human life and the anguish which comes at the prospect of bereavement. Our loved ones are wrenched from us: were there no pain there could have been no true love It is testing to accept God’s will and the dispositions of Divine Providence. In identifying with Jairus we should also appropriate to ourselves the Lord’s command Talitha qoum. We, who strive to obey God’s commands during our earthly life are preparing ourselves to respond obediently to the last and impossible command: Arise.
We see clearly in the Gospel that both the woman and Jairus are invited to have faith. We, like them, are children of God, but God does not compel us to enter into the life-giving and joyful relationship with himself which begins and always depends on faith. He respects our freedom, which is in some way a reflection of his own. We have to make our choice with the assistance of grace. It is a relationship with the living and abiding Word of God through whom we stand, endure, and if we are humble, in which we will live for ever.
Dom Gregory Corcoran