“Jesus took the child by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise!” Luke 5:41
As I read today’s Gospel reading, I was profoundly struck by Jesus’ words to Jairus’ daughter. Everyone thought she had passed away after Jesus stopped on the way to Jairus’ house to encounter the woman suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. Jesus responds to the crowd saying, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” Following this, he proceeds to enter the home of the young girl to speak to the depths of her soul calling her to arise, and she “arose immediately and walked around.”
In light of our country’s headlines and movements, it’s incredibly challenging for me to ignore the power of Jesus’ words in the context of our world’s understanding of womanhood. I hear Jesus crying out, “Talitha koum,” to the souls of so many women who are trapped in the confusion and deception of what it means to be a woman.
While many rally to fight for protection and healing from the horrors of abuse, others celebrate the objectification of themselves (and their sisters) through the promotion of an over sexualized culture that strips our world of authentic, life-giving love. All the while, the greatest gift that women possess, the essence of their creation to be life givers, is constantly threatened by our world’s hunger for control and domination over everything, including life itself.
Our understanding of dignity has been thwarted. Too many feminine souls are sleeping.
St. John Paul II in his letter to women written in 1995, expounds on the inherent value that woman brings into the world through her simple breath of existence. He writes,
“Into the heart of the family, and then of all society, you bring the richness of your sensitivity, your intuitiveness, your generosity and fidelity … Through the insight which is so much a part of your womanhood you enrich the world’s understanding and help to make human relations more honest and authentic.”
Are we bringing these gifts into our vocation, workplace, and the greater world?
How are we making humanity more honest and authentic?
Don’t hide your authentic femininity, letting lies and deception convince you that you are too much or not enough. Our authentic self is valuable, and every time we withhold it from the world, we deprive humanity of the feminine soul. God knew the world was incomplete without her, so he created Eve to breathe beauty, authenticity, fidelity, and strength among other virtues into the world.
In recognizing the truth of our womanhood and inviting our sisters to embrace the splendor of life as God created it, we respond to Jesus’ invitation to arise. We walk humbly together reminding one another not to be afraid of opening our truest self to the world, but rather to live boldly in faith first and foremost as a daughter of God.
As women of courage and faith, the Lord challenges us to be the voice calling out to those in deep slumber, “Talitha koum.”
Arise, my sister, your soul is needed.