The Healing Power of Faith 

Mark’s Gospel (5: 21-43) presents two characters who leave us rich testimonies of the healing power of faith. They are Jarius and the woman suffering from hemorrhage. Therefore, I reflect on their witness as an inspiration to us. Let’s begin with the woman.   

Faith Comes by Hearing 

The woman suffers from a hemorrhage for over 12 years. She spends a fortune through medical means seeking a cure, but without success. The woman hears about the Lord Jesus. She might have heard Jesus is the messiah or that he performs signs and wonders from God. She listens, and her spiritual perception begins to open. Her confidence grows as she comes closer and closer to Jesus. “Faith comes by hearing” (Rm 10:17).

The woman sees the Lord as the crowd follows him. She is neither part of the original crowd nor invited as the disciples. But she knows that God invites everyone. Shame or insecurity because of her condition wouldn’t stop her from meeting the Healing Lord. The woman does not allow the teeming crowd following the Lord to stop her. The woman is focused and knows what she wants. She also knows the key to unlocking the favor she seeks.

She wants a touch. It is a touch on that cloth the Savior wears. Precisely, to touch the tassel or fringes (tzitzit) attached to the Jewish prayer shawl (tallit), which Jesus wore as a religious Jew. At the time of the story, a typical religious Jewish man wore the tassel, as many Jews do today. It’s a reminder of God’s commandments and the call to holiness. Touching this symbol of holiness is affiliating with the holy, a path of wholeness. More so if the Lord himself garbs the tassel. 

The woman sees the connection between a relic and a person. In this case, it is the connection between Jesus, the Lord, and what he wears. Whatever the Lord wears is already a source of blessings. Whatever the Lord touches is whole so are those who align to it. This woman has pure faith. It’s inspiring, and I love it. I call it faith in the little things that matter in so far as they come from the Lord.

Biblical Language, Symbols, and Genuine Faith 

The woman has a target, a goal. She is a believer, not a fan. Many in the crowd were mere fans, following a newfound celebrity or social influencer. Not for this woman. Her faith pays off because the Lord doesn’t refuse genuine faith. The Lord heals her. Power goes out of Jesus as the woman touches him. Touch the Lord. You will find healing. 

The second case in this biblical story concerns Jarius, a synagogue official. He approaches Jesus, interceding for the healing of his daughter, who was sick. Scripture says Jarius’ daughter was twelve years old (Mk 5:42). What a coincidence that the hemorrhaging woman had been suffering for twelve years; Jarius’ sick daughter was also twelve years old. 

Biblical stories are full of symbols­­—twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve apostles, et cetera. The number twelve appears at least 187 times in the Bible. It speaks of authority and perfection. In some ways, it could relate to those men and women across the world, who the Lord, the Son of David, offers the grace of redemption. We all are spiritually networked to the excellencies of the symbolic number twelve in the apostolic rootedness.  

The news comes that Jarius’ daughter is already dead. The messenger suggests he wouldn’t need to bother Jesus anymore since the daughter is already dead. The Lord jumps in to reassure Jarius of his providence and confirm his faith. The Lord knows the critical time we need him the most, and he saves the day. “Do not be afraid,” the Lord says to him, “just have faith.” 

The Lord accompanies Jarius to his home and raises his daughter from the dead, asking them to give her food to eat.  

Unlocking Divine Blessings

There are many lessons from these two stories. One is that faith is the key to unlocking the blessings of God. Have faith. Keep the faith and your salvation is near.

Also, Jarius and the woman suffering from bleeding do not allow negative news and obstacles to stop them from believing. Imagine if the woman gave up the goal of reaching Jesus for a healing touch due to the negative vibes of the crowd. Would she receive healing? 

Messengers of the bad news about the death of Jarius’ daughter suggested he quit. What if he did and not listened to the reassuring words of the Lord, would his daughter have been restored to life?  

Why allow discouragement from the voice of the crowd or those who do not see the way the Lord sees to get at you? Naysayers are all around us. Please do not listen to them. To the unwise, the audacity of faith is senseless. For the person of faith, there are limitless opportunities.

So, what do you do? How do you keep your faith alive and secure? How do you not miss an opportunity of grace or miracle?

Keep an eye on Christ, the Lord. “Looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:2). Focus. Keep faith. Such a spiritual attitude keeps you on target with your blessings. Also, as we say here at Gratia Vobis Ministries, demonstrate that faith through action. 

May the Lord confirm your faith as he did for Jarius and the woman suffering from hemorrhage. Amen. 

God love you. God bless you. 

[2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14b, 24-25a, 30; 19:3; Mk 5:21-43]

Fr. Maurice Emelu

Father Maurice Emelu, Ph.D., is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu in Nigeria and the Founder of Gratia Vobis Ministries. An assistant professor of communication (digital media) at John Carroll University, USA, Father Maurice is also a theologian, media strategist, and digital media academic whose numerous works appear on television networks such as EWTN. As he likes to describe himself; “I am an African priest passionately in love with Christ and his Church.”


  1. David Cooper on February 1, 2022 at 9:14 am

    Thank you Fr. Maurice. I have been meditating on this Gospel reading today. He has touched each of us who call Him Savior. He calls us by name: daughter, little girl. He knows us. Loves us. Heals us. Call us to touch and love others.

    • Fr. Maurice on February 2, 2022 at 4:11 am

      Thanks, David. He calls us by name and His love is everlasting.

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