“Arise, little lamb!” The tenderness of Jesus.
Over the past several days, Christ’s immense power has been the focus of the posts. Today’s Gospel from the Mass (Mark 5:21-43) offers an insight to the love and tenderness of Our Lord. An excerpt:
 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him; and he was beside the sea.  Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Ja’irus by name; and seeing him, he fell at his feet,  and besought him, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.”  And he went with him….
While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”  But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”  And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.
…But he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was.  Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Tal’itha cu’mi”; which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”  And immediately the girl got up and walked (she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement.  And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
Here is a beautiful, moving demonstration of the tenderness of Our Lord Jesus Christ:
- Jairus, was a ruler of the Temple. Recall that on Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 4:21-30), the people from the synagogue in Nazareth had attempted to kill Jesus by throwing Jesus headlong off a cliff. Jairus, an official of the Temple, must have heard about this, for he is seeking Jesus out. Perhaps Jairus was in some way involved in the cliff incident; as a Temple official, he likely would have approved.
- Imagine poor Jairus. “My little baby girl is dying! My little baby girl is dying!” Often it takes desperation and hopelessness to lead us to the hope in Christ.
- Jesus, if He were like us, might have denied Jairus’ desperate pleas, recalling the bloodthirsty behavior of the mob. But Jesus is not like us (thank God!).
- Jesus, puts the crowd out and allows His disciples and Jairus and his wife into the room of the dead child (she is definitely dead, the professional mourners have arrived to cry and moan).
- Jesus says, “Tal’itha cu’mi”, which in other translations is sometimes translated as “Little Lamb”. What tender and gentle words!
- If you have been in the presence of a dead little child and mourning parents, you realize the absolute overwhelming tenderness of this moment. Now think about those words of Jesus, “Arise Little Lamb.”
- For Jairus and his wife, this must have been the highlight of their lives. They have seen the Light. Jairus is appropriately named; his name means “God enlightens”.
Jesus Christ is both tough and tender. A powerful God who uses His power to heal and forgive.
There is hope for all the “Little Lambs” of the world.