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Eternally grateful

And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years... Mark 5.25

The story of Jesus healing the woman who was bleeding appears in all 3 Synoptic Gospels. It interrupts another healing miracle - of Jairus' daughter. The little girl is 12 years old, throughout that time the older woman has been suffering from a condition which must not only have been painful, embarrassing and uncomfortable but would have led to her social and religious exclusion as "unclean". Jesus' compassion extends to both. But who were they and does it matter?

We are informed that the girl is daughter to a local synagogue leader. But, of the woman, the Gospel writers tell us nothing. There, however, developed a tradition that associated her with a noble woman called Berenice (Veronica in Latin), who commissioned a piece of art depicting Jesus, as an expression of gratitude. It is all very vague and may be a further reflection of how patriarchal societies tend towards indifference in regard to women. But the fact that we have these two interweaving stories - concerning the healing of a woman and the resurrection of a girl - confirms the value in which Jesus held all human beings, male and female.



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