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Daily reading: 1 July

Something to read

She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak.

- Mark 5:28 (from longer reading Mark 5: 21-43).

Something to think about

How long is twelve years? If you are a dearly beloved child, aged 12, it’s your whole life.

If you’re a woman – exhausted, treated as an outcast and considered ‘unclean’; a bloody mess, with no clean running water – it might also feel like many lifetimes as the untouchable pariah, apparently cursed by God, abused or abandoned by under-resourced health professionals.

Despite the anxiety of the synagogue leader, Jesus still takes time to speak with the woman who is under pressure to disappear into nothingness, to affirm her place in the human family and the eyes of God.

Yet the moments Jesus spends paying attention to this ‘daughter’ reveal her true value.

Although he felt power leave him when she touched the hem of his garment, he attributes her healing to the quality of her faith: faith to risk the crowd, to pursue a person who, she has heard, may give hope; faith to challenge the culture that marginalises, disempowers and alienates her.

By now Jairus too is helpless to save his daughter, except that where others see only death and hopelessness, Jesus affirms life, hope and a future.

Something to do

In a world which devalues women, making girls and old women shoulder the worst burdens of poverty and inequality, is there someone today that you can value – with a touch, a word, a moment of mindful attention – to affirm their worth in God’s eyes, and their importance in the community?

Something to pray

Living God, stop the flow of injustice, the bleeding of the poor to enrich and reassure the rich. Let every daughter, every son, be precious and cherished, protected and embraced.

Today’s contributor is the Rev Cheryl Meban, Presbyterian chaplain to Ulster University, with a care for justice, human rights and international economic transformation.

Published on 01 July 2021