On June 28th we will hear a marvelous gospel story of the raising of a twelve year old girl, the daughter of Jairus, a synagogue official. Jairus shows tremendous faith by asking Jesus to heal his daughter who is deathly ill. But by the time Jesus gets there she is dead.
Then we have a most tender scene. Jesus takes the girl’s parents and his three closest friends into the child’s room. Only those who are close to Christ and who have faith witness what happens next. Jesus takes her hand and says (Mark records the original Aramaic language that Jesus spoke): “Talitha koum.” It means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The verb is the same one to describe Jesus’ own resurrection.
I recommend this gospel passage (Mark 5:21-43) to persons who have experienced abuse, trauma, or some other fearful event in their childhood that leaves emotional, relational, and spiritual scars. I invite them to pray with this gospel and imagine the Risen Christ reaching into their childhood, taking them by the hand, raising them up, and saying, “Arise, come up into freedom. Come up into healing and new-found peace and light.”
These powerful gospels stories are wonderful good news about what happened 2000 years ago. They are also privileged gospels texts for us — inviting us to experience the presence and power of the Risen Christ with deep concern about our well-being. “Arise, come to life!” Christ says to all of us.