A woman finds healing by touching Jesus’ cloak, and a girl is restored to life when Jesus takes her by the hand. In both cases a barrier is crossed: in Jesus’ time the hemorrhaging woman was considered ritually unclean, polluting others by her touch, and anyone who touched a dead body also became unclean. In Mark’s gospel Jesus breaks down barriers, from his first meal at a tax collector’s house, to his suffering and the forgiveness he offers from the cross. In our sinfulness, we dare to reach out and touch Jesus that we might live transformed as a community that overcomes barriers by welcoming all people in Christ.

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