Some years ago, Jim Carey starred in a movie called Bruce Almighty. In the movie, the title character, Bruce, who thought that God was doing a poor job answering the demands he made of him, is given the chance to play God while God took a vacation. Bruce immediately begins hearing the insistent demands of the faithful...all of them...at the same time. The movie had some comic appeal but the idea of how God can respond to our constant and sometimes conflicting demands is actually quite profound.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals two individuals. One he cures of a chronic hemorrhage and the second he raises from the dead. The demands of Jairus, the father of the dead girl and of the woman whose faith moved her to touch Jesus’ cloak elicited a response from Jesus that is meant to both alleviate the suffering of the individual and to strengthen the faith of the group. But it is the initiative of the individuals that bring about this response. The woman with the hemorrhage has to seek Jesus out to touch him and the young girl has to listen to Jesus’ command to “Arise”. As we reflect on these passages, we might think about the demands we make of God, how he responds to them, remembering that, following in the mystery of the Resurrection, we arise to fullness of life, made whole in Christ through his love for us.