In today’s Gospel passage, the healing of the woman suffering hemorrhages is bracketed by the two parts to the raising from the dead of the official’s daughter.
Jesus’ only words to the woman here in Matthew’s account are ““Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” It says that from that moment, from the moment that he said those words, she was healed of her condition.
Is it not curious that Jesus first says to the woman, “Courage, daughter?” Earlier, in this same Chapter 9 of Matthew, Jesus tells the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus addresses these adults as children. He shows the care of the Father for them. He shows them the love of Our Father. It is through Jesus, of course, that we can know the Father.
Jesus also tells both to have courage as he heals them. Is courage not essential in the spiritual life? And we take courage in hope. Hope for the promises to come. But also, there is hope founded in the way that Jesus addresses both people. There is hope in being a beloved child of God.
In the original Greek, one scholar notes that Jesus here uses the same word denoting the heroic courage that overcomes all obstacles as was used by Homer and the Greek tragedians. This implies a call to boldness.
But that boldness is grounded in hope. It is grounded in trust. We can have no courage in our spiritual life or in the things that God calls us to do in this life if we lack the trust in God that necessarily forms the basis for our courage.
Some of us might struggle with trust. We might have been burned too many times. Perhaps our own father or mother violated the innate trust that we have in them as children. Those trust issues can make it difficult for us to trust God. We cannot take the leap of faith that is necessary. We lack the courage to move forward because we cannot trust. We might even fearfully retreat from God and others because we cannot trust.
Do I find myself struggling with trust issues in my life? Have those trust issues limited my relationship with God because I find it difficult to trust God? Am I willing to trust in God? Not that everything will be perfect in this life, but that God’s way is the best way for me. Am I willing to have faith in God as the source of all goodness such that this trust might become easier?