Fr Paul Gooley reads today’s Gospel from Mark (5: 21-43) in which Jesus heals the woman who touches his cloak and brings a young girl back to life. Fr Paul says, as we have seen, the author of the Gospel of Mark likes to combine experiences just to show how significant they are. Often, like in this Gospel, the author sandwich’s one story between the two halves of another. In this instance the significant thing is that both the recipients of Jesus’ healing love are women. Only a minority of Jesus’ miracles concern women, and the bringing together of these two, one a girl and the other an older woman, serves to stress their importance to Jesus. Sometimes it can be a little unfair to accuse the Bible of being male dominated. A mother’s devotion is a frequent image of God’s love. There are plenty of strong women in the Old Testament, who put their menfolk to shame by their courage, enterprise and initiative: Rebecca, Tamar, Deborah, Ruth, Esther & Judith. Jesus’ own relationships with women seem to have been easy and even humorous. We only have to think of his playful bargaining with the Syro-Phoenician over the cure of her daughter, or the jokey exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, but there is also the delicacy taken towards the woman taken in adultery or the sinful woman who showed her love by weeping at his feet. In closing, Fr Paul says today’s Gospel reminds us to acknowledge and thank God, constantly, for all the wonderful women in our lives and in our world.