Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Feast of St. Blaise
St. Blaise was a Bishop in Armenia who suffered martyrdom in the early 4th century. He was supposed to have miraculously cured a boy who was choking to death on a fish bone. Because of this legend, he is associated with cures for afflictions of the throat; the blessing of our throats with the blessed candles takes place on this day in his memory.
The Gospel today has Jesus first meeting one of the synagogue officials, Jairus, who fell at the feet of Jesus and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, "My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live." Jesus starts off with him with a large crowd around him. There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She came up behind Jesus in the crowd and touched his cloak. Jesus turned around and asked who had touched him. The woman then approached Jesus and fell down before him and told him the truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."
While he was still speaking they came to tell him that the daughter has died; Jesus said to him, "Do not be afraid; just have faith." He did not let anyone accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John. He put everyone else out but took the parents with him and entered the room where the child was and took her by the hand. He said to her, "Talitha koum", which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!" The girl arose immediately and walked around. Jesus gave orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.
These two miracles show Jesus healing through compassion and also show a very human side to him. He also is again letting us know how important it is to have faith.