A Woman's Faith Commentary to the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The scene is quite unusual. Jesus introduces this unknown woman as a model o faith for the Christian communities. They could learn from her how to find Jesus with faith, how to be healed by Him and find in Him the strength to start a new life, with renewed peace and courage.
In contrast to Jairus, a chief from the synagogue and a powerful man in Cafarnaun, this woman is totally helpless. The only thing we know about her is that she suffered a secret illness, as a woman, that made her unable to live a normal life as a spouse or a mother.
She suffers both physically and morally. She has lost everything trying to get help from doctors, but nobody has been able to help her. The woman, however, does not want to give up and remain a sick woman forever. She finds herself alone, as nobody is helping her to get close to Jesus. She waits for her chance.
She will not give up or simply wait for someone’s help to take her to Jesus. She will try alone and finally get over all the obstacles on her way. Jesus will see her faith and perseverance until she is completely healed. Her faith in Jesus is complete.
Slowly but surely, she tries to get closer and closer to Jesus until she is able to touch his tunic. That was the public and physical gesture that Jesus must have been waiting for: a clear sign of her faith. She is determined, but not crazy. No public attention or noise. It was a very delicate and silent message to make her plead and prayer reach Jesus.
Everything had been done without drawing anyone’s attention. But Jesus wanted everyone to learn about this woman’s tremendous faith and trust. As soon as she has, in fear and trembling, confessed that she was the one who had touched him, Jesus says to her: “My daughter, your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free from your complaint.” This woman, with her perseverance to seek salvation in Jesus, ought to be an example and model of faith for all of us.
How many of us today are helping women to seek and find support in Jesus? Do we really try to understand women’s problems and difficulties in getting their needs expressed in the modern Church? How many are interested in or recognize the great efforts of women theologians who keep finding new ways to live and work with dignity in Jesus’ Church? How many of us help and support them?
Women are not getting from us the welcome, support and recognition or understanding that Jesus always gave them. We don’t even see them with the same eyes with which Jesus saw them. And the fact remains that it is these women, with their faith and perseverance that are keeping most of our Christian communities alive.