We have a tendency to label people. Sometimes labeling serves as a protection, preparing us to act appropriately. Labeling may shield us from heartache or expectations unfilled. In our gospel today, it seems the people are good at labeling!
The disciples are puzzled by Jesus’ question, “Who touched me?” when the crowds are pressing him. The crowd at Jarius’ house tells Jesus not to bother, because Jarius’ daughter is dead. Typical responses. The woman was afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years and the little girl was dead. What could Jesus do in the face of all that? What the crowd was not prepared for is Jesus taking labeled situations and treating them as new opportunities to call forth faith.
The woman with the hemorrhages and Jarius were people of great faith. They stand in opposition to the hardheaded realism of the disciples and the crowd. Encounter with Jesus changes experiences. It is the faith of the woman and Jarius that opens new life offered by Jesus.
The challenge is to see new life in the circumstances of our life precisely because Jesus is present and nothing is the same. The good news is that suffering and death are not hopeless because out of them comes life. All we need is faith in Jesus.