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Interruption – part of the pilgrimage

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Have you ever been on your way to doing something important when suddenly something or someone interrupts your plan? Today’s Gospel (Mark 5:21-43) describes this very thing happening to Jesus! After all, he is going to visit Jairus’ daughter who is dying. Along the way, a woman presents a demand that will obviously interrupt his trip. Creatively, the Gospel of Mark offers a number of these “inclusio” or intercalation experiences. In basic terms, some folks call these Markan sandwiches (one story within another story).

We can all relate. We’re going to do something and a disruption occurs. We start off with the intention of doing one thing when suddenly a new experience is infused into our lives. Discipleship demands this reality of us. We set off with every intention of doing God’s will and something is interjected. And, like Jesus, we can’t ignore the encounter. In a major seismic way, Covid has done that to us. We were going along our way when suddenly life is disrupted. Covid rushes in and immediately blocks our goals, our plans, our perceived destinations.

Our intention to visit Jairus’ daughter was interrupted by the woman with a hemorrhage. But we have something to learn from Jesus, though, because both encounters are important. Both encounters are moments of grace. Both are occasions to proclaim God’s love, mercy and providence. Yes, we have all been interrupted. But this interruption is part of the pilgrimage. Do we see what is standing before us as opportunity to proclaim the Good News? Have we stopped to mind the hemorrhaging woman on our way to visit the dying girl?

In His love, interrupted,

Fr. Gurnick