• Sarah Raad


“‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be cured of your disease.’” (Mark 5:34).

The Miracle of the Healing of the Woman with Bleeding (Daniel Cariola)

I have been meditating upon the passage of Saint Mark’s Gospel that explains the miracle of the haemorrhaging woman and I have been struck anew at the merciful condescension of Almighty God (Mark 5:25-34)…

“A woman who had had a haemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but instead had become worse - after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she had been saying to herself, ‘If I just touch His garments, I will get well.’ And immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that power from Him had gone out, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My garments?’ And His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’’ And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. But the woman, fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be cured of your disease.’” (Mark 5:25-34).

And for the first time since I first heard this story many many years ago in Mass – long before I even understood what was wrong with this poor woman – I was filled with love for my Beloved for the miracles that He wrought in her.

Because, make no mistake about it, there was NOT one miracle performed for this woman… There were FOUR!

You see, in the ancient Jewish society in which Christ lived, a woman was considered ceremonially unclean if she were bleeding. Importantly, if a man touched a woman who was bleeding, he too was considered unclean… This is an interesting cultural concept that many of us fail to really understand in our modern Catholic lives. Even Our Blessed Mother – who was without sin – and Saint Joseph, who helped her and touched her during the days of her delivery, were ceremonially unclean following the birth of Christ. “When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord…” (Luke 2:22).

That haemorrhaging woman was an outcast. She was an outsider. She was unable to worship in the Temple. She was unable to sleep beside her husband. She was unable to touch her adult sons. And on top of all of that, she had bled for years and years and years, thousands of years before modern conveniences like sanitary items or even showers were available to women to use.

And so, when that haemorrhaging woman dared to reach out and touch the cloak of Christ, she was daring to do more than touch a strange man who was passing by in the street… She was daring to make the Rabbi ceremonially unclean. No wonder she was scared when He asked who touched Him. I would have been terrified! Perhaps what she felt was akin to the feelings one might experience if they had unwittingly exposed others to COVID-19… Provided their loved ones did not actually become sick, the mere inconvenience of the isolation and testing would be embarrassing …

And so, as I reflect on the actions of that woman, who dared to touch the cloak of Christ, I have come to realise that she had FAITH in the physical miracle of physical healing – she knew that Christ “coulda” cure her if He wanted to. And that gift of FAITH – such strong and determined FAITH – was Miracle Number One! After all, there was no coming back from that… If someone who knew her saw her touching Christ, she would have been humiliated or punished or both!

That woman also TRUSTED in God’s infinite mercy – she trusted that Christ “woulda” cure her and not turn her away. And that gift of TRUST – such strong and determined TRUST – was Miracle Number Two! After all, she trusted that He would not turn her away when everyone else would have!

And so, that woman took COURAGE in daring to reach out to Christ – she took COURAGE from the Holy Spirit and decided that she “shoulda” touch the Cloak of Christ. And this gift of COURAGE – such strong and determined COURAGE – was Miracle Number Three!

And because Christ – being GOD – was also not UNAWARE… That woman received Miracle Number Four – her healing! For, my Beloved knew that the woman was there and He knew that she was cured… It was no accident and she did not trick Him into using His Holy Power… After all, many others touched Him in the crowd that day and they were not cured… It was just this woman with her “faith” that made her well…

And it was that faith – not only in the power of God, but in His mercy also – that pleased my Lord…

And so, I pray that I too shall have courage to pray so that I too may grow in faith… For it is faith that shall make me well – not only physically, but spiritually – in the Holy eyes of my Lord.

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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