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First Reading: Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:7,9,13-15
Gospel: Mark 5:21-43

The centerpiece of today’s Gospel is Jesus healing the hemorrhaging woman. Having a flow of blood for twelve years meant that anyone with whom she came in contact would be considered unclean. She couldn’t, in any meaningful sense, participate in the ordinary life of her society.

 The woman touches Jesus—and how radical and dangerous an act this was, since it should have rendered him unclean. But so great is her faith that her touch, instead, renders her clean. Jesus effectively restores her to full participation in her community.

 But what is perhaps most important is this: Jesus implicitly puts an end to the ritual code of the book of Leviticus. What he implies is that the identity of the new Israel, the Church, would not be through ritual behaviors but through imitation of him. Notice how central this is in the New Testament. We hear elsewhere in the Gospels that Jesus declares all foods clean, and throughout the letters of Paul we hear a steady polemic against the Law. All of this is meant to show that Jesus is at the center of the new community.
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