Mark's Gospel Sandwich

Have you ever told a story and someone interrupted you to share their similar experience? This is often found in the gospels of Mark. Intercalation is a technique that involves adding, or sandwiching, additional content in the middle before finishing it. These additions add emphasis or compliment the original story. Despite the differences, the stories somehow connect, much like two pieces of bread become more nourishing when a filling is added.

Stories That Nourish

Mark sandwiches two healing stories into one powerful narrative in the Gospel for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Mark 5:21-43). The first is the twelve-year-old daughter of a synagogue official who is “at the point of death.” It is interrupted with the story of a woman who has suffered from constant bleeding for twelve years. Both are desperate and cling to Jesus as their last hope. His words to Jairus are: "Do not be afraid; just have faith."

Connecting The Story

Maybe we can relate to their struggles. How many times have we found ourselves pushed to the limits of faith and hope, feeling alone in our challenges? It is in these moments when we can turn to Jesus, whose words to the woman echo to us, “Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” The gift of life presents us with many wonderful and beautiful treasures. However, we are often faced with challenges, heartbreaks, pain, and suffering. In our darkest moments God is there, offering comfort and healing through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was always touching and being touched by people. He had the divine power to heal and to save. Though we may not understand the reasons for our suffering, we can find strength through our faith. It is there that we can find hope, peace and His saving grace.