While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
A synagogue official, whose daughter is critically ill, falls to his knees in front of Jesus and begs him to come and make her well. On the way to the house, Jesus feels a gentle touch on his cloak. Turning around, he sees a woman trembling. She needed healing and tells Jesus this. As Jesus speaks to her, the synagogue official gets word that his daughter has just died. In love and faith, the official trusted in Jesus to come and make his daughter well, only to find that he got delayed and it was too late…or so he thought. Jesus tells the man not to be afraid and goes to the house where the daughter’s body lay. Jesus tells the girl to “arise,” and she does!
This passage reminds us that even when we feel that all hope is lost, we can turn to God for healing and hope. When we look into our hearts and our faith, we know that each of us, and all those who have gone before us, will live eternally with God. This passage shows the healing power of faith and prayer that made the little girl literally return from death to life. Many people leave their earthly bodies for good, but live on in the hearts of all those whose lives they’ve touched. I hold onto that more so now than ever before and often think of these words of St. John Christendom, “He is no longer where he was before…now he is everywhere you are.” What is even more reassuring is that we will also all live on with God in a place beyond human understanding and description, filled with pure love and joy. What a wonderful gift of love and hope! May you remember all those who you have loved and lost from this place, and be filled with peace and thanksgiving for their lives.
– Submitted by Laura Edenborough-Lewis