God doesn’t need our faith in order to work his will. God can perform a miracle no matter how little people believe in him. And yet it is also true that our faith opens us up to receive God’s power more fully—something that today’s gospel demonstrates for us in a very dramatic way.
It wasn’t enough for this sick woman just to be near Jesus; she had to touch him. Even though she was considered to be ritually unclean, she overcame her shame and fear and reached out for Jesus. Our Lord turned round and looked for her in the huge crowd. He was so pleased to have found someone with such firm faith—a faith that expected to be healed.
In response to the woman’s faith and trust, Our Lord confirmed her physical healing and went one step further: “Courage, daughter, your faith has saved you”. Our Lord poured out spiritual healing as well.
This connection between faith and healing is also evident in the raising of the dead daughter of Jairus. When Jairus asked Our Lord to help him, he did so with sincere and humble faith, knowing that Jesus had the power to raise the dead. But when Our Lord entered his house, the atmosphere was one of disbelief and resignation. The mourners even ridiculed Jesus. Our Lord cleared them out, and having changed the atmosphere, worked his miracle.
God invites us to participate in his great works through our faith. But first we may need to remove the obstacles of disbelief and resignation that prevent us from experiencing his work in us.