The Sandwiches of Mark

Have you ever told a story and before you were able to finish what you wanted to say, you were interrupted by someone who told a similar story? The stories relate to each other even though the experience is different. This interruption brings another dimension. 

The Gospel According to Mark

In the Gospel for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time we hear two individual healing stories sandwiched together into one narrative. Mark uses this sandwich technique throughout his gospel. The first is the story of the 12-year-old daughter of a synagogue official who is close to death. The story in the middle is about a woman who suffered from constant bleeding for 12 years. These two stories are about desperate people who reach out to Jesus as their last place for hope. Jesus tells them “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” It sounds so simple. 

Our Spiritual Limits

Maybe we can see our own spiritual lives in Jairus and the woman with the hemorrhage. Two people, unknown to each other, pushed to the limit of their faith and hope. Nothing or no one could help them – until they reached out to Jesus. Jesus, whom they perhaps heard speak or even followed him along during his ministry. 


Throughout life, we face challenges, heartbreaks, pain and suffering. When we reach a breaking point, we often turn toward God. God does not want us to suffer, even if in our suffering we come closer to him. In our suffering and in our joy, when we are broken and in need of healing, when we are thankful for the gifts we have, God is there. Do not be afraid - Just have faith.