Posted on: June 30th, 2024 by St. Stephens Downsview

Everyone good? Today, I’d like to share some reflections from Mark’s Gospel, Chapter Five, verses 22 to 24. This passage introduces us to Jairus, one of the leaders of the synagogue. Jairus came to Jesus, fell at His feet, and begged repeatedly, “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.” Moved by his plea, Jesus went with him.

The Journey from Fear to Faith

We often encounter fear of the unknown, fear of others’ opinions, and fear of change. These fears can overwhelm us, particularly when we are praying for something we desperately need. Just last Sunday, we heard in the Gospel reading about the disciples’ fear during a powerful storm at sea, with Jesus asleep in the boat. Mark’s account, I believe, is not random but carefully placed to highlight a transformation from fear to faith.

In the midst of that storm, the disciples were terrified. When Jesus woke and calmed the storm, the disciples asked, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the waves obey him?” This question captured their ignorance, confusion, and the beginning of their understanding. It opened a pathway to deeper faith.

Embracing Christian Discipleship

Our Christian journey is fraught with uncertainties. We are bound to face situations where we feel unsure and afraid. How do we navigate the space between fear and faith? Jairus faced this predicament as his daughter lay dying. He risked his reputation and sought out Jesus amid a crowd clamoring for His attention. Despite his fears, Jairus begged Jesus repeatedly, demonstrating his readiness to shed any pretense.

Jesus responded without hesitation, following Jairus to his home. Upon arrival, Jesus took Jairus’s daughter by the hand and said, “Talitha koum,” meaning “Little girl, get up.” Immediately, she got up and started walking as if nothing was ever wrong. Jesus told Jairus, “Do not fear, only believe.”

Confronting Our Own Fears

We are often held back from reaching out to God due to our fears and misconceptions. We might feel our concerns are less pressing than others or consider ourselves unworthy. These fears mirror those of the woman suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. By Jewish law, her touch would make others ceremonially unclean. Yet, in her desperation and faith, she touched Jesus’s clothes, believing she would be healed.

The Miraculous Power of Faith

This woman’s touch became her channel for healing. She acted on her faith, despite her fears. Like Jairus and this woman, we are called to have faith in Jesus’s presence among us. This faith draws us out from the dark places in our lives, from following the crowd, and from merely being admirers of Jesus. It pulls us into a deeper, more committed discipleship.

Jesus calls us away from our fears and into faith, much like He did the disciples who were hiding in fear before Pentecost. In the upper room, they were transformed by God’s presence, transitioning from fear to bold, public proclamation of their faith.

The Light of Christ in Our Lives

Every day, in morning prayer, we recite the Benedictus, declaring, “In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us to shine upon those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

The shadow of death doesn’t just mean physical death; it symbolizes all the areas we try to shield from God’s light. It’s like a solar eclipse that temporarily blocks the sun’s light. Christ’s light, however, penetrates even these dark corners, leading us into peace.

Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus

As Jesus guided Jairus through his fears, He guides us too. By focusing our faith on Him, we learn to navigate the space between fear and faith. Jesus’s words resonate deeply: “Do not fear. Just believe.”

In this journey, let’s keep our eyes trained on Jesus. It is only through Him that we can transform our fears into unwavering faith.