As an ordinary Jew of his time, Jesus would wear a tunic (Greek chitõn) which normally finished slightly before the knees. He would also wear a mantle or a larger piece of cloth wrapped around the body. A mantle would have ritual tassels, zitzityot, on every corner, in observance of the commandment in Numbers 15:38. Here in the Gospel, the power of Jesus breaks out so that touching even the tassel of his cloak brings healing. However, it is not the cloak, but the person of Jesus, who is source of healing; the cloak is only a conduit of grace. And healing is not automatic; faith is required of someone who asks for it, as in the case of the woman with hemorrhage: “Daughter, your faith has saved you” (Mk 5:34). It is the faith-filled touch that connects the sick to Jesus, the healer.
FIRST READING • Gn 1:1-19
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.
Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Thus evening came, and morning followed—the first day.
Then God said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other.” And so it happened: God made the dome, and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it. God called the dome the “sky.” Evening came, and morning followed—the second day.
Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear.”And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared. God called the dry land “the earth,” and the basin of the water he called “the sea.” God saw how good it was. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it.” And so it happened: the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed—the third day.
Then God said: “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth.” And so it happened: God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed—the fourth day.