“While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, he saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a tumult and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi”; which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and walked (she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.” -Mark 5:35-43
Jesus tells us not to fear, but to believe. In the midst of the worst of suffering, the loss of a child, Jesus tells us not to fear. Jesus is trusted by the father of the little girl, even when others laughed at Him.
Now I know what some of you are thinking, “Jesus raised his daughter, but he did not raise my daughter, son, mother, father, friend”.
Yes, that is true, but don’t get blinded by that. The father believed in Jesus before his daughter was raised, not after. We know how the story ends, the little girl’s father did not know. Everyone was telling him she was dead. Everyone was making fun of Jesus and the man’s faith in Jesus, but he still believed.
However, the truth embedded in this miracle of Jesus runs deeper. It involves a truth we don’t like thinking about: death.
Our lives here on earth are temporary. Everyone dies. And everyone goes on to live forever… somewhere. Often our problem is we don’t make choices that take this into account. We don’t look at the world through the lens of this truth. I’m not talking about sinning. I’m referring to the times we limit our thinking to this life. We see death as an ultimate end. We see this life as a time we need to make the most of in terms of money and pleasure. We have sayings like, “You only life once”.
We fear the unknown, but in this case, we fear the thing not yet experienced. We fear death in the Biblical sense. We have never been to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory. God has told us about them, but we doubt God.
Like all things, prayer will help us with this. We can pray to God and ask him to open our eyes to spiritual realities. To help us remember that this life is not the end, but only a drop in the ocean of God’s love for us. Remember, the little girl in St. Mark’s Gospel died, but Jesus had other plans for her… and He has great plans for us as well.