13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, B Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. The Sunday Connection provides useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.


Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Sunday, July 1, 2018


This Sunday’s Readings


First Reading
Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Death entered the world through the work of the devil.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 30:2,4,5-6,11,12,13
A prayer of thanksgiving to God for having rescued us

Second Reading
2 Corinthians 8:7,9,13-15
As Christ became poor for our sake, so must we share with those in need from our abundance.

Gospel Reading
Mark 5:21-43 ( shorter form, Mark 5:21-24,35b-43)
Jesus heals a woman afflicted with a hemorrhage and raises Jairus’s daughter from death.

Background on the Gospel Reading

For today’s Gospel, we continue to read from the Gospel of Mark. Last Sunday we heard about Jesus calming the storm, the first of four miracles that Jesus performs in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee. Each of these four miracle stories offers us a glimpse at Jesus’ power. This week we hear about the third and fourth miracles, skipping the second miracle, the healing of a man from Gerasene who was possessed by a demon.

Today’s Gospel reports two stories of healing. One story tells us about a father’s great love for his dying daughter. The other story tells us about a desperate woman who risks much as she seeks healing from Jesus. In each story, the request for healing is itself a courageous act of faith, and yet very different circumstances are represented by the lives of each suffering person.

Jairus is described as a synagogue official, a man of considerable standing in the Jewish community. Distraught over his daughter’s poor health, he approaches Jesus and asks him to heal her. Although Mark doesn’t provide many details, we can imagine that his daughter has been ill for some time and that her condition is deteriorating.

As Jesus leaves with Jairus, Mark describes a second person who seeks healing from Jesus, a woman with a hemorrhage. This woman secretly touches Jesus from behind and is immediately cured. In response, Jesus turns and asks who touched him. Jesus’ disciples, always a little clueless in Mark’s Gospel, help us envision the scene. The crowds are pushing in on Jesus, and yet he, knowing that power has gone out of him, asks who touched him. The woman could have remained anonymous, yet at Jesus’ question she steps forward and acknowledges what she has done. Jesus responds by acknowledging her as a model of faith and sends her away in peace.

At this point, we can imagine Jairus’s impatience with Jesus; his daughter is dying and Jesus hasn’t helped him yet. As if to build a sense of urgency, messengers suddenly arrive and confirm Jairus’s worst fear: his daughter has died. Jesus curiously ignores their message and reassures Jairus. When they arrive at Jairus’s home, they find family and friends mourning the girl’s death. Jesus enters the room of the dead girl, takes her by the hand, and instructs her to arise. Jairus’s faith in Jesus has not been in vain; his daughter is restored to life.

The contrasts between Jairus and the woman with the hemorrhage are stark and revealing. One is a man, the other is a woman. One is a public official, an important person in the community. The other is a woman who has lost everything to find a cure to a condition that separated her from the community. One approaches Jesus publicly. The other approaches Jesus secretly. Yet in each case, faith leads them to seek out Jesus in their time of need.

The Gospel concludes with Jesus’ instructions to remain silent about this miracle. This is typical of Mark’s Gospel and is sometimes referred to as the messianic secret. Repeatedly, those who witness Jesus’ power and authority are instructed to not speak of what they have witnessed. These instructions appear impossible to obey, and it is difficult to understand the purpose of these instructions. But in each case, they seem to emphasize the fact that each individual, including the reader of Mark’s Gospel, must, in the end, make his or her own judgment about Jesus’ identity. Each individual must make his or her own act of faith in affirming Jesus as God’s Son.


Gospel Reading
Mark 5:21-43 ( shorter form, Mark 5:21-24,35b-43)
Jesus heals a woman afflicted with a hemorrhage and raises Jairus’s daughter from death.


Making the Connection (Grades 1, 2, and 3)

Young children know how important it is to have someone who cares for them when they are sick. We can teach them about the Church's ministry to those who are sick and invite children to participate in this ministry through their prayers.

Materials Needed

  • none

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Invite the children to think about a time when they were sick. Ask: Who takes care of you when you are sick? Has the person who cares for you ever had to get help for you when you were sick, for example, by taking you to a doctor or by going to the pharmacy to get medicine? (Accept all reasonable answers.) Say: It's good that we have people who take care of us when we are sick.

  2. Ask: Have you ever helped care for someone who was sick? What does it feel like to be with someone who is sick? (Accept all reasonable answers.)

  3. Say: In today’s Gospel we hear about a man named Jairus, who had a daughter who was sick. Jairus came to Jesus to ask for his help because he believed that Jesus could make his daughter well again. Let’s listen carefully to this Gospel.

  4. Read today’s Gospel in its shorter form, Mark 5:21-24,35b-43.

  5. Ask: What does Jairus ask Jesus to do to make his daughter well? (to lay his hands on her) What happens while Jesus is walking to Jairus’s house? (Messengers report that Jairus’s daughter has died.) What does Jesus do? (He tells Jairus not to be afraid; he continues to Jairus’s house; he says that the girl is only sleeping and he raises her and makes her well.)

  6. Say: Jesus cares for people who are sick and wants them to be well again. He also teaches us to care for those who are sick. Jesus gave us a sacrament that brings healing and forgiveness to people who are sick. It is called the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. One of the ways in which we care for those who are sick is by praying for them, asking Jesus to heal them, just as Jairus asked Jesus to heal his daughter.

  7. Conclude by inviting the children to name people they know who are sick. Pray together prayers of petition, asking Jesus to heal each person named by praying, “Jesus, heal us.” Conclude your prayer time by praying the Glory Be to the Father.


Gospel Reading
Mark 5:21-43 ( shorter form, Mark 5:21-24,35b-43)
Jesus heals a woman afflicted with a hemorrhage and raises Jairus’s daughter from death.

Making the Connection (Grades 4, 5, and 6)

Watching other people suffer when they are sick can leave us feeling helpless. Our prayer for those who are sick is a way for us to ask for Jesus’ healing presence and to participate in the Church’s ministry to those who are sick.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Tell the children to think about a time when they were sick. Ask: When you were sick, did you have any special needs? If so, what were they? What did other people do to help you feel better? (Accept all reasonable answers.)

  2. Ask: Have you ever helped take care of someone who was sick? What does it feel like to be with someone who is sick? (Accept all reasonable answers.)

  3. Say: We are fortunate to have people who care for us when we are sick. Caring for people who are sick can be very rewarding, especially when we help them feel more comfortable. But it can also be discouraging because sometimes there seems to be little we can do to help them feel better.

  4. Say: Today’s Gospel tells the story of a father who felt helpless because his daughter was sick. But he sought help for his daughter from Jesus. Let’s listen carefully to this Gospel.

  5. Invite one or more volunteers to read aloud today’s Gospel in its shorter form, Mark 5:21-24,35b-43.

  6. Ask: What does Jairus ask Jesus to do to make his daughter well? (to lay his hands on her) What happens while Jesus is walking to Jairus’s house? (Messengers report that Jairus’s daughter has died.) What does Jesus do? (He tells Jairus not to be afraid; he continues to Jairus’s house; he says that the girl is only sleeping and he raises her, making her well again.)

  7. Say: Jairus did something that each one of us can do; he asked Jesus to be present with a person who was sick. We can also pray for those who care for the sick, such as parents, nurses, doctors, and all people who work in the medical profession.

  8. Conclude by inviting the young people to name people they know who are sick. Pray prayers of petition, asking Jesus to heal each person named by praying, “Jesus, heal us.” Conclude your prayer time by praying together the Glory Be to the Father.


Gospel Reading
Mark 5:21-43 ( shorter form, Mark 5:21-24,35b-43)
Jesus heals a woman afflicted with a hemorrhage and raises Jairus's daughter from death.


Making the Connection (Grades 7 and 8)

Caring for the sick is an important way that Christians follow Jesus’ example. With faith in Jesus’ power to heal, we pray for those who are sick and for all those who care for them.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Ask the young people to name 10 careers in the medical profession (for example, doctor, nurse, x-ray technician, pharmacist). Write these on the board and ask the young people to describe how people in each profession contribute to the care of those who are sick.

  2. Ask the young people to recall a time when they helped care for someone who was sick. Ask: What feelings did you have as you helped to care for this person? (Accept all reasonable answers.) Observe that caring for people who are sick is both rewarding and challenging.

  3. Say: Today’s Gospel tells the story of a father who sought Jesus’ help because his daughter was very sick. Let’s listen carefully to this Gospel.

  4. Invite one or more volunteers to read aloud this Sunday’s Gospel in its shorter form, Mark 5:21–24, 35b–43.

  5. Ask: What feelings might Jairus have had as he asked Jesus to make his daughter well? (Accept all reasonable answers.) What happens while Jesus is walking to Jairus’s house? (Messengers report that Jairus’s daughter has died.) What does Jesus do? (He tells Jairus not to be afraid. He continues to Jairus’s house. He says that the girl is only sleeping, and he raises her, making her well again.)

  6. Say: Christians follow Jesus’ example by showing compassion and care for those who are sick. Just as Jairus turned to Jesus to heal his daughter, we pray for those who are sick, asking that Jesus comfort them, heal them, and give them strength. Like Jairus, we have faith in Jesus’ power to heal. We also pray for all those who care for those who are sick, including those who work in the medical professions.

  7. Conclude by inviting the young people to offer prayers of petition for those who are sick and for those who care for the sick. Lead all to respond to each petition, “Jesus, heal us.” Then pray together the Glory Be or the psalm for this Sunday, Psalm 30.

 


Gospel Reading
Mark 5:21-43 ( shorter form, Mark 5:21-24,35b-43)
Jesus heals a woman afflicted with a hemorrhage and raises Jairus’s daughter from death.


Family Connection

There are many ways in which we can compare the request for healing made by Jairus and the request of the woman with the hemorrhage. One comparison helps us think about prayer. Jairus asked Jesus for healing on his daughter’s behalf; the woman with the hemorrhage had no one to speak for her and bravely approached Jesus on her own initiative. In our prayers, we do both. We intercede for others’ needs, and we also courageously express our own needs to God. We find hope in Jesus’ response to both of these people, who sought him out in their hour of need.As you gather as a family, talk about some of the things you have prayed for this week. Notice that some of your prayers may have been for other people, and some of your prayers may have been for your own needs. In today’s Gospel we find encouragement for both kinds of prayer. Read together today’s Gospel, Mark 5:21-43. Talk about the similarities and differences between the two people who presented their needs to Jesus in this Gospel. Notice that both people received the healing they sought from Jesus. We want to pray for the needs of others and for our own needs with as much faith and hope as Jairus and the woman with the hemorrhage did. Pray together in thanks and praise to God, who hears our needs and answers them, by praying today’s psalm, Psalm 30.