Notes from Father Brendan

June 30, 2024

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“Talitha koum” is a beautiful phrase. It is in Mark’s account of the healing of Jairus’ daughter that we hear these words. It’s one of those unique occurrences in Scripture where the original language is preserved. For this Aramaic phrase “Talitha koum” – “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” It is Christ calling out to all of his fallen children. In this short phrase is the entire reality of sin, the fall, and then redemption.

Jairus and his wife, hearing those words Talitha koum, said by Jesus over their dying daughter, believed in their hearts that the words of Christ are healing. They believed that she would rise. Sure enough, the twelve-year old got up. It was Jairus’ deep distress over the health and fate of his little girl that he was moved by faith to plead with Jesus to come and lay his healing hands upon her. It was that deep faith to which Jesus responded. The Gospels are filled with the accounts of Jesus performing miraculous healings and exorcisms throughout his public ministry. In fact, his renown for these words was such that he was taunted on the Cross by the crowd who said, “He saved others, he cannot save himself.” To those who witnessed them, these miracles were signs of the Kingdom of God being manifested through Christ. In Jesus, God was reaching out to bring in all those fallen children, to take them out of the hands of Satan who had held them since the fall of Adam and Eve.

Christ commissioned the twelve Apostles and his many other disciples to go out as healers. To bring the peace, mercy, and healing grace of Christ out into a fallen world. Talitha koum is a message from Jesus to all who are broken, hurt, and spiritually dying. The healing remedy that Christ established within his Church are the seven sacraments. In baptism, original sin, the first effect of Adam and Eve’s sin, is wiped clean. Confirmation signs and seals us with the Holy Spirit to go out as soldiers for Christ in a world mired in spiritual warfare. The Eucharist is the living bread come down from heaven to feed and sustain us when we receive it worthily. Marriage and Holy Orders are where men and women lay down their life for love and service in their vocation. Anointing of the sick provides a particular healing grace to those physically suffering, or near death. And ultimately, the most common and repeated act of healing takes place in the confessional.

Each and every person who comes into the confessional is spiritually ‘dead’. Through our sin, we remove ourselves from the state of grace, and need to be reconciled again with our Heavenly Father. What we receive through the words of absolution is being brought from death into the newness of life. We are brought out of sin and restored back to grace. Each and every confession could end with the priest speaking on behalf of Christ, “My little child, I say to you, arise!”

Stay close to the sacraments. Do not deprive yourself of these great fonts of grace. In them, we hear Christ speaking to us, calling us out of sin and death, and calling us to rise to new life with him.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Brendan