Talitha, cumi! — Arise!
“It’s too late! It’s no use anymore!” That was the response of the people to Jesus some 2,000 years ago—just before He raised a young girl from the dead. And this dismissive response can still be heard again and again even today, said Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider.
The chief clergyman gathered with over 3,000 brothers and sisters in Luena, Angola for a divine service in the Pavilhão Gimnodesportivo on Saturday, 19 August 2017. The basis of the Chief Apostle’s sermon was the biblical account of the raising of Jairus’ daughter. Holy Scripture reports on these events as follows: “Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, ‘Talitha, cumi,’ which is translated, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’ Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement” (Mark 5: 41-42).
Jairus was a believing Jew and the ruler of a synagogue. The gospel of Mark relates that the man’s only daughter, who was twelve years of age, was sick and at the point of death. Jairus went to Jesus and asked Him to heal her. Jesus agreed. On His way to visit the girl, however, He encountered a sick woman, took time for her, healed her, and finally arrived at the home of Jairus’ daughter—too late as it turned out, as she had died in the meantime. “But Jesus said, ‘The child is not dead.’ And everyone ridiculed Him. But the Lord went to the daughter, together with His disciples and her parents, took her by the hand, and said, ‘Arise!’ And she arose,” recounted Chief Apostle Schneider.
I am with you
“What does this mean for us today? — We too need the help of God again and again. Whatever the situation may be in our lives, let us always turn to God and ask Him for help,” advised the Church leader. Jesus walks with us human beings, shares in our sufferings, in our cares, and in the injustices we are dealt. “God’s first response to us is to tell us, ‘I am with you!’” Jesus has many ways to comfort and strengthen us.
Of course, a given situation may also worsen. Although one may indeed experience the presence of Jesus and receive His comfort, this does not necessarily bring problems, illnesses, or wars to an end. “It is at times like this that thoughts may arise such as, ‘You see? It’s all for nothing. Just forget it. You will find no help here.’ — This doubt is completely normal,” explained Chief Apostle Schneider. “But even then, let us inquire with the Lord. He will tell us, ‘Do not be afraid. Only believe!’ — And to believe means to place our trust in God and be patient.”
The help of God is greater than all human comprehension
The help of God is always greater than anything human beings can imagine. “But,” the Chief Apostle went on to add, “then people will come and say, ‘Oh yes, they always talk about the beyond. Then you will go to heaven, and then you will be happy. But they only say that to comfort people. Cheap comfort indeed! No one has ever come back from the beyond!’ — No! We have complete trust in Jesus Christ.” The conviction of the believer is that Jesus Christ can repair and redress the greatest harm, and transform the most terrible suffering into joy.
Fellowship with God
Jesus raised the little girl by taking her hand and talking to her. By way of this miracle He announced His own resurrection, and thus His victory over death. He wanted to show mankind that He is able to liberate them from spiritual death—namely separation from God—and grant them eternal life—which is fellowship with God. And no spectacular exploit is required in order to make this possible—not at that time and not today. “Jesus redeems us from death and grants us eternal life through the dispensation of the sacraments—which are acts performed upon us—and through His word. If we allow Him to take us by the hand, respond to His word and act in accordance with it, we will be redeemed from spiritual death and receive eternal life.”