Fr Joe has written these short reflections on today’s First Reading and Gospel passage.
Hosea 2:16-18. 21-22
Hosea prophesied during the final years of King Jeroboam II reign. He reigned in Israel for 41 years during which three other prophets Amos, Joel and Jonah also prophesied. Hosea prophesied between 750-725 BC.
The core message of the Book of Hosea is that Hosea is asked to marry Gomer, a prostitute. She obviously is then unfaithful to Hosea. The prophet uses his life as a metaphor in showing Israel’s infidelity to God, whom they have prostituted by worshipping false Gods. Israel is the bride of God alone. In this we see the suffering of love rejected. Hosea loves Gomer but she is unfaithful, God loves Israel but Israel is unfaithful.
However, God promises to woo Israel again to him and Hosea saves his wife Gomer from the slave market. Hosea redeems Gomer and God redeems Israel. All is not lost despite our infidelities. God’s love never wavers and God is the one who always takes the initiative to win us back and restore us to Himself.
The head of the local synagogue Jairus approaches Jesus publicly to request that Jesus saves his daughter who has just died. In an act of humility and respect, he bows before Jesus. This is also an act of faith and surrendering trust. In the meantime, as Jesus makes His way to the house of Jairus, a woman who has suffered for 12 long years from a haemorrhage touches the fringe of Jesus’s cloak and is healed instantaneously.
According to Mosaic law Israelites were instructed to wear tassels on the corners of their garments as outward reminders to live by the commandments of God. It was also believed that the Messiah’s tassels would have miraculous powers. This woman is commended by Jesus for her faith which was the reason for her healing. She believes that by just touching Jesus alone, she will be returned to full health.
Jesus then arrives at the house of Jairus. The neighbours are already mourning the little girl’s death and the musicians are playing their instruments at the wake. Jesus dismisses the unbelieving crowd and enters only with His apostles and the believing parents. This girl is dead, although Jesus says that she is asleep. He will say the same about His dead friend Lazarus (John 11:11). For Jesus, the only one truth death, is the death that is eternal punishment in hell.
Jesus, raises the little girl to life again, simply by taking her by the hand and the prayer request of Jairus and his wife, a prayer of perfect faith, is answered.
St Thomas Aquinas
‘We set forth our petitions before God, not in order to make known to Him our needs and desires, but rather so that we ourselves may realize that in these things it is necessary to turn to God for help.’