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Won't Jesus look for us too? | Word Alive

Marie Anne Torres

Friday, June 25, 2021

Mosaic from the Cathedral of the Assumption in Monreale, Sicily. It depicts Jesus' encounter with the woman who was healed by touching the hem of his clothing. Photo credit: Richard Stracke (altered and used under the terms of license CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Won't Jesus look for us too?

A reflection for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

by Marie Anne Torres

In the Bible story of the woman who touched Jesus’ cloak and was healed, we might focus on certain parts of what unfolded in that moment, the more dramatic parts — the woman’s act of reaching out to touch His clothes, or Jesus’ final words to her, “Daughter your faith has saved you, go in peace and be cured of your afflictions.”
However, in this Sunday’s reading, there is one line in particular that struck me and added immeasurable meaning to this interaction between Jesus and the woman. It describes something that happens before they even speak to each other.
It’s a small line, one we can easily overlook; it's found in the middle section of the story and comes into play at the most chaotic moment.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to Jesus, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
And he looked around to see who had done it. (Mark 5:30-32)
That last verse!
And he looked around to see who had done it.
I can only picture this moment, Jesus totally surrounded by people “pressing upon him”. The lack of personal space, yelling, shoving, the stress of the disciples trying to walk alongside and protect Jesus. I imagine all this happening on a backdrop of dust, heat, and sweat.
Then Jesus asks, “Who touched me?” And He remains fixed on His question, as it says in verse 32, “And he looked around to see who had done it.”
There was such chaos. Yet even in this moment, Jesus hears and acknowledges the woman's petition for Him. The smallest petition from the crowd, the smallest cry for His presence, for His love, His healing, and His mercy. He felt the call for Him from a woman who never even dreamed their eyes would meet. In this moment, the one, the woman, was everything for Jesus.
And he looked around to see who had done it.
Jesus looked around. He looked for her. Can you imagine the Messiah looking for her? Can you imagine what that would have felt like? Even for a moment? To see Jesus turning, looking just for you?
This teaches us something revolutionary — that Jesus would stop and embrace the smallest desire for Him, the lowliest cry for help. In fact, it was this desire in particular that he sought with such emphasis.
And he looked around to see who had done it.
This story is so important to keep in our hearts because after Jesus’ ascent into Heaven, should we not expect Him to be the same as when He was on Earth? Should we not expect Jesus to look for us when we call, even quietly? Would he not hear our pain, our cry? Stop for us and look for us in the crowd?
All this to say, when we call upon Jesus — especially if we lack the strength, the words to pray out loud with boldness and fervour, when we don’t feel we can even put ourselves before Jesus, when we don’t even expect Jesus to meet our eyes, perhaps we can remember these words:
And he looked around to see who had done it.
Won’t Jesus look for us too?
In the end, this Gospel story is not simply about a woman who was able to touch Jesus’ clothes and be healed. In the end, this story is about something more profound, unique to Jesus’ relationship with each of us — how he hears and sees us. We don’t need to push through a crowd to touch his clothes, we just need to call upon Him in our hearts!

The readings for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, are
Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
Mark 5:21-43

Marie Anne Torres is an Associate Producer for Salt + Light Media.

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