Multi-tasking can be a difficult thing to do for many of us. Some of us are very talented at the task, others, fail miserably. In today’s gospel reading (Mark 5: 21-40) Jesus seems to be showing us how to multi-task but in reality, He is teaching us several lessons: the power of faith, the importance of dwelling in the moment, and staying focused on God.
While surrounded by a large crowd, Jesus is approached by Jairus, a synagogue official, whose daughter was dying. One would think Jesus would pay attention to the official because of his high standing in society, but in reality, Jesus was moved by the plea of a worried parent. As Jesus is escorted through the large crowd, which is pressing in on Him from every side, a woman afflicted with hemorrhages reaches out and touches the hem of his garment. Instantly, Jesus recognizes the power of a healing touch moving through him and into this woman. Jesus demands to know who touched him.
Have you ever been in the midst of a large crowd with people bumping into you on every side? It only makes sense that people would be touching you. So, why does Jesus appear to be upset when someone touches such a small bit of his clothing like his hem? What does he expect? Look at the hem of your clothing, gently touch it. Can you sense the light touch? Imagine being in a large crowd. Do you think you would sense someone touching the hem of your clothing? Are you that attentive to one person while in the midst of a large crowd? But it wasn’t just the touch that Jesus felt, He felt healing power going out of him. The woman’s faith caused the healing and shows us the power of possessing a great faith.
Jesus was multi-tasking that day but also stayed in the present moment, open to anything or anyone who would need his loving attention. As we go throughout each day we are often bombarded with events and people who demand our attention. It can be very hard to divide ourselves and often when we do something or someone suffers. The key to getting through times like these is to focus the eyes of our hearts on God and trust that HE will give us all we need to get everything done.
One thing about a crowd, it can be defined as a lot of people asking a lot of things from us. But a crowd is also anything which divides our heart and prevents us from staying focused on Jesus, including our egos. When Jesus finds himself in our hearts but crowded in the midst of our own agendas, need for power, prestige, or attention, it is difficult for us to reach out and find Him. The woman with hemorrhages was also crowded but knew which garment belonged to Jesus. It could be nothing other than her free and open heart which reached out for Love in great faith.
May we clear our hearts of all which crowds out Jesus so we can find Him and realize the power of faith in our lives.