"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)

“Girlie, I say to you, arise!"

here are three persons in the gospel that I would like to focus on in my sharing today. The first is Jairus. He is a synagogue chief in Capernaum whose position was considered influencial during Jesus's time. The story of Jairus is recorded in the three gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke and in all three accounts Jairus falls down at Jesus's feet in desperation (Lk 8:41). Why does he do this? Because his daughter is already lying at the door of death and he needed all the help he could get—time was of the essence. This is a very dangerous thing to do because of the crowd described in the bible as "almost crushed him” (Lk 8:42). Jesus was surrounded by so many people. But this did not stop Jairus beacuse of his great love for little Girlie, his only daughter. When you love somebody you will do everything to protect that person, wouldn't you? We will be moved to act only when the object of our love is put on the line. This is the reason why Jairus comes to Jesus not because he already has deep faith in Him. Not yet. Remember he is a synagogue chief and it is even more dangerous for him to show allegiance to an ordinary man like Jesus. Jairus puts on the line everything for example he risks losing his reputation, his job or his career and, not to mention, his friends in the synagogue. In the eyes of Jesus he looks at Jairus with love because of this. It is not pity but of great admiration for someone who goes the extra mile for his beloved. Jairus's shameless persistence is similar to the persistent widow who kept nagging a corrupt judge to do justice for her (Lk 18:1-8). If persistence pays off with a corrupt human of finite power, how much more will it pay off with a just God of infinite power. When we go to Jesus, let us do as Jairus did, let us bring to Jesus what we deeply love, for example our lovedones, our vocation, profession, etc. Jesus will be very delighted to come to our rescue because he too will be inspired by our shameless persistence.

The second is the woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She suffers greatly as a result of the misdiagnosis made by her many doctors. The original greek word used to describe the disease of the unnamed woman is μάστῑγος, mástīgos, meaning to whip (scourge) with a mástīgos (Strong’s Greek 3148, mástiks, a “whip”). It was inflicted upon Jesus when they strapped Him to a pole to scourge Him. She did what she could to consult doctors about her physiological condition. It is said that after spending all that she had in her search for a cure, her situation only grew worse. After more than a decade of her self-affliction, she finally comes to an authentic self-realization the moment she encounters Jesus’s powerful presence. Probably, this has been the only authentic diagnosis which is not coming from her doctors. But it comes from her own self and from her own acceptance. Many times it is not only the phyical ailment that kills but it is also the spiritual, especially when we start to lose hope and fall in despair. For some unknown reason, her mind had been blocking something for twelve long years. She now hears the cry of her own bleeding body—just like Jairus time is of the essence. The woman has something so important to her, her own wellbeing. She has suffered a lot from a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and it has been twelve years since the time she had a traumatic experience. When she touched Jesus's cloak, Jesus felt it. He felt her deep desire to be healed. Dostoevski once said, "There is only one thing I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings." When we go to Jesus, let us do as the woman did, let us bring to Jesus our suffereing and brokenness. Jesus will be very quick to come to our rescue because he feels our brokenness.

The third and final person is the little girl or simply girlie (κοράσιον, korasion, i.e., a girl, damsel, maiden) at the moment of life and death. The word arise used in the gospel “Girlie, I say to you, arise!" is used for Resurrection in the New Testament. The reaction of all the men and women at Jairus's house, ἐκστάσει (the same word that we have in English, ecstasy!), is that of the women at the tomb in Mark 16. Lots of foreshadowing to the Resurrection here. But to Peter, James and John, this is also a prelude to Jesus's Transfiguration which the three of them will have the sole privilege to witness. But for me among all those around the real taste of Resurrection is granted to Jairus and to the woman. The girl aged twelve years who is brought back to life again becomes only a mirror for the woman's newfound life. Jesus becomes more than just the end to her suffering. There is fullness of life after all the suffering that when went through. For Jairus, this is his conversion experience knowing full well the true identity of Jesus who is life Himself, eternal life. Amen. Fr JM Manzano SJ


  1. Girlie pala yung pangalan ng anak ni Jairus. Ngayon ko lang nalaman Fr. JM. Or another way to call a little girl. A message of selfless love, persistent hope and sustaining faith on resurrection. Thanks.

    1. Thank you for your sharing! You are right about Girlie! It is also the same as Inday in Cebuano! GBU!


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