We may miss the shock factor in both stories today. Given the strict rules surrounding ritual purity, it was unprecedented that a woman with some kind of gynaecological complaint should actually touch a man. Conversely, Jesus touched a corpse, also strictly forbidden and entailing ritual impurity. Both acted courageously and against the established tradition for the sake of something greater.
Help us, Lord, to know when to reach out, when to touch and welcome the excluded. Help us to know when to set aside received practices which hinder the Gospel in our day. May this woman’s example gives us courage!
K O’Mahony OSA