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Home / SERMONS FOR THE DAY OF THE LORD / 7th Sunday of Luke: Lk 8:41-56; Gal 2:16-20

7th Sunday of Luke: Lk 8:41-56; Gal 2:16-20

This gospel reading is an account that portrays two miracles.

Firstly, we are told of the cure of a woman who had suffered from a flow of blood, for twelve years.

Secondly, we are told of the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter who was about twelve years old.

The passage occurs right after the incident involving the Gardarene demoniac (Lk 8:26-39), the healing of the centurion’s servant (Lk 7:1-10) and the raising of the widow’s son (Lk 7:11-17); three miracle healings very similar to the one in this passage.

Jairus, a ruler of a synagogue, had a deep concern and love for his daughter, and so was very fearful for her life. For this reason he felt an extreme need that pushed him to Christ, just like we have. In his situation, his only daughter was dying.

But as Jairus and the woman with the flow of blood went to beg Christ, out of their faith, to come to their assistance, the multitude of people had surrounded the Lord, and made it difficult for Jairus and the woman  to approach Christ.

Despite the many people that had surrounded Jesus, we see Christ put forward a very significant statement when He said, ‘who touched me’ (Lk 8:45).

His apostles could not work out what Jesus meant by this query.

However, this phrase bears a significant meaning as the crowd is not interested in their salvation, and yet a certain woman had touched the tip of His garment and by this the Lord could discern her faith and interest in salvation.

Our Lord revealed this statement (Lk 8: 45-46) in this way in order to highlight the woman’s great intensity of faith. Even though He was thronged by the multitudes seeming interest in Him, Jairus and the woman with the flow of blood had a more profound awareness and hope in Christ, which was brought about in their hearts by their personal suffering and faith in Him.

We see here the deep and enormous faith of this woman as she sincerely turned to Christ. Although she spent all her money on physicians, she could not be cured, she had a hopeless disease. Her bleeding here is indicative of our own sins.

Do we not repeat again and again one sin after the next? Do we not repeat a flooding of improper thoughts and actions? Are there not things that we do again and again, things that are wrong in the eyes of God, which can eventually lead to our alienation from God?

We daily experience a flood of sins. Like this woman who had a flow of blood, we too must be healed the same way, by reaching out to Christ. Just by touching the tip of Jesus’ garment with her deep faith, she was made well. The lack of bleeding indicates a sign of wholeness, a sign that sickness is cured.

Dear friends, the mystery of our life is a living story about how we are made whole, how we are made complete.

But it is only God Who can make us perfect, and we see this wholeness and completeness in the story of the woman with the flow of blood who was healed.

The reason why this miracle is brought to the surface before He helped Jairus, was to give Jairus confidence that his daughter would be healed also.

The Lord knew that Jairus could not approach the Lord in time because of the many crowds that thronged Him, He knew that Jairus needed something to hold on to.

Jairus was afraid, for him death was final and there was no way around it. However, before Jairus could start weeping for the loss of his daughter the Lord turned to him and said, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well’ (Lk 8:50).

Jairus acted in accordance with what he believed, and for this reason Jesus resurrected his daughter.

This is what it means to be a Christian, we don’t just believe, but we act in accordance with how we believe.

Sometimes we have terrible things happen to us and it takes great patience on our part to live according to faith. Jairus had to act above his circumstances to have any chance in saving his daughter. He had to accept what the Lord was saying to him and to move with him and follow him, which he did, and therefore had access to the life-giving power of God.

Both miracles in this gospel have a similar meaning; they are both victories by faith in God.

Faith is living our lives in accordance to the presence of God, who is revealed in Jesus Christ.

We see this faith both by Jairus and the healed woman.

Our Lord is the healer, He restores what is infirm, He completes what is lacking, He supplies what is missing, and sets right what is wrong.

The epistle of Galatians 2:16-20 also highlights this notion of faith; for by grace we are saved through faith in God. We must have faith in God to do the will of God.

God reveals Himself to us on a daily basis and gives us the strength to become just like Him, as Saint Athanasios once said: ‘God became man in order for man to become a god by grace’. This is our aim.

Perfection can be achieved only if we know what we have to do, what our goal is. We must know Who it is that we serve, the kingdom of God or the kingdom of man?

Dear friends, the deception of the ruler of this world is everywhere, and we have the tendency to be fooled and confused and therefore lose sight of God. In His presence exists our true life. Let us focus on God and His body, the church, let us put our trust and hope in Christ just like the two people in this gospel passage, and seek to be partakers in God’s eternal kingdom through our life in Christ.

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