The lesson of the hemorrhoid to today's woman

In the Gospels, Christ transforms the hemorrhoid into a woman healed, lifted up, transformed, repositioned and blessed. A miracle that can be repeated in our lives today.

February 19, 2024-Reading time: 7 minutes

(Unsplash / Mohamed Nohassi)

God loves women in a special way, and wants them to be healthy in order to be nourishment of love, instruments of peace and bearers of wisdom in all their surroundings. In the Bible We can appreciate how God's dealings with women have been transcendent, positioning them in key tasks throughout the history of salvation.

In some biblical episodes, God shows himself as the faithful provider, the caretaker of widows, of weak and needy women, as he did with the widow of Zarephath, with the hemorrhagic woman, the Samaritan woman and the daughter of Jairus.

In other cases God is the educator, maker and formator of virtuous and courageous women as He was with Ruth, Esther, Deborah, Hannah and Rachel. And what can we say about the outpouring of virtues that He imparted in His mother Mary! He will also dress His Church as a bride in glorious splendor at the marriage of the Lamb. God needs healthy women to help weave, assemble and conclude the history of salvation towards a victorious end. 

As it says Ruth 3:11Now, therefore, do not be afraid, my daughter; I will do with you as you say, for all the people of my people know that you are a virtuous woman". 

It is here that we have to ask ourselves this question: if women are so gifted, needed and used by God, why does it seem that, of the two genders, they are the most suffering, the most tired, the most lacking or needy? Physical and mental health problems affect both men and women, but some are more common in women.

Psychological vulnerability

In the field of psychology, studies affirm that women are almost twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic, certain phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder. This vulnerability is attributed to a complicated combination of several risk factors related to their biology, psychology, and sociocultural role tensions. 

It is easy to notice that in our society, especially in some cultures, many women grow up without validation. Girls are not given the same level of importance and are taught to remain quiet and subservient, to the point of taking on the responsibility of constantly looking out for the health and well-being of the entire family before their own well-being. This is why it is important for women to prioritize their mental health, as they are 4 times more likely to experience conditions such as depression than men.

From 7 % to 20 % women will suffer from postpartum depression, especially when a number of factors come together, such as marital problems, financial problems, physical health problems, weight gain, and social isolation. Women who used the birth control pill during adolescence will be 130 % more likely to be depressed as adults. Of all those affected with these psychological conditions, nearly two-thirds will not get the help they need.

Is it decay, disappointment or depression? 

"I walk about burdened, and hunched over, I walk afflicted all day long. I am paralyzed and broken to pieces. My heart is pounding, my strength is gone, and I lack even the light in my eyes. My companions are far from me, and my relatives are at a distance; Lord, do not forsake me, come quickly to my rescue" (Psalm 38:7-11, 21-22).

Undoubtedly, this psalm describes the emotional overwhelm of a human being overwhelmed by serious wounds, cruel sensations of impotence somatized and turned into physical ailments and total desolation. What would bring him to the edge of that psychological precipice? What sustains our delicate inner balance so as not to dawn one day on the brink of madness?

Life's challenges are sometimes bearable burdens that provide important lessons, or even effectively transform us into better human beings. But at other times, when the physical, emotional and psychological wear and tear are combined, and the soul no longer has the strength to believe or pray, the meaning of life is lost, reconfigured in this senseless suffering. That is when some people would prefer to give up or even die because they simply feel they can't give any more.

And we ask ourselves, what happened to that cheerful little girl who dared to laugh and dream, to hug and dance with her dolls, to dress them in pink, and to dream of beautiful fantasies that would become, according to her innocence, a quotable reality? That little girl was growing in stature at the same time that she was losing emotional strength. One day her life changed at dawn when she encountered abuse, abandonment, betrayal, uncertainty, a sick child, cancer, feeling eradicated from her fantasy to walk without strength and without illusion in her new and appetizing reality.  

The question is, if even in such a grueling condition, she will be willing to use every last drop of her strength and hope to give life another chance.

The therapeutic work of faith

Of all the therapies available to treat depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and similar conditions, I personally believe that there is no substitute for faith and a personal relationship with God. In fact, a recent study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago suggested that faith in God reduces the symptoms of clinical depression.

Faith gives meaning, purpose and new illusions to life, experiences very scarce in depressed people. It is faith that assures us that our future is in the hands of God, who is our defense and protection, and His love accompanies us with merciful streams soaking our life to free us from guilt and despair. The prayer of faith will facilitate the defocusing of the negative, and the focus on the possible and expected.

The Bible is full of quotes that exhort us to unlock sadness and turn toward joy. It is not God's delight or desire for us to be crestfallen, disinterested, and sad. He wants His joy in us to be possible, livable and complete.


In Mark chapter 5, an anonymous woman suffered from a flow of blood. As others told her story, she was called the hemorrhoid, in other words, the untouchable, the dragged, the estranged. How many must have felt this way for so many different reasons? However, these pronouns would not last long. They would have to be updated because after an encounter with Jesus, everything would change.

Until a few days ago he had squandered all his fortune on doctors and remedies that did not help him. Someone told him the news that the famous healer from the Galilee was approaching his surroundings. He must have thought: I lose nothing in a last attempt at healing. He positioned himself at a crossroads, and stretched out his arm to reach out to the healer of stir. Without realizing it, he made a prophetic gesture, for by daring to touch the hem of Jesus' garment, he would approach the very throne of God. Those who know the Word will have read in Isaiah 6:1: "I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up. The hem of his garment covered the temple".

There was not much time. Any movement would have to be quick and punctual. Jesus was being rushed to the home of the well-known Jairus with a dying 12-year-old daughter. So in the minds of the disciples priorities surely had to be arranged: which of the two should Jesus attend to: a sick twelve year old woman who was desperate for healing, or a twelve year old girl who could not be left to die? Which pain is more real? Which need is more urgent? Which of the two will obtain the Lord's urgent favor? Let us choose one; there is no time for both. 

But the author of time stops time. There was no need to lay hands. The wounded woman had already touched the Lord's heart with her groans and tears until she came into direct contact with His power and mercy.

Even without hearing the words "you are cured of your disease," she felt relieved of her ailment, of her sense of helplessness, of her failed attempts at twelve years of unrewarding effort, of her wear and tear of having to crawl through the streets and alleys suffering from a humiliating ailment with no apparent remedy.

Her body was freed from its evil, the emotional and psychological burden that humiliated her was lifted from her heart, and her soul took flight. This is how everyone should feel who ever hears such words in their lives: your sins are forgiven, or the tumor is gone, or someone has paid your debt. Go in peace! 

Jesus asks, "Who touched me? Strength came out of me. He makes her identify herself because the miracle came in two parts. The woman gets up, converses with Jesus who tells her, "daughter, your faith has saved you, go in peace". In an instant or microsecond of eternity, two great miracles took place in a dejected and hopeless woman: her physical recovery, and her reintroduction to life as a woman healed and transformed from her old to her new identity.

That is why Jesus wanted to identify her in order to reveal the invisible miracle and to clothe her with a new visible dignity. Now let us change the pronouns, for she who was the hemorrhagic woman is now the healed, lifted up, transformed, repositioned and blessed woman.

Jairo's daughter

We can now go to Jairus' house without having to leave the previous miracle half done. However, Jesus and his retinue are approached by the same pessimists as always: "what are they bringing the teacher for, if Jairus' child is already dead". They forgot that the one they invited to come was not a healer, but the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6). Jesus says, "the child is not dead, but asleep". And taking the child by the hand, he says to her, "Talitha kum, child, to you I say, arise." The girl stood up When will we understand that in the house of believers there are no dead children, but simply sleeping ones! He comes to wake them up! 

In several lines of the same Gospel, there were two impressive miracles: the healing of an adult woman and the healing of a little girl. There was time for both. Both were lifted up. God has no favorites, only favored ones regardless of condition or distinction: woman or girl, rich or poor, free or slave, sinner or saint: the promise is for all.

Today's miracles

The miracles of this Gospel are found today in so many different and similar women, once twinned by physical pain and emotional decay, but who after an encounter with the healer of Galilee, their stories and names change. In other real life cases it is possible that it is the same woman, healed from the wounds and scourges of her childhood to become the adult woman lifted from her past sin or depression, to no longer drag her down. 

There are women who suffer from illnesses or ailments that make them live fallen, impoverished and deprived of happiness. If that is you, it is time for your prayers, your gestures and your faith to reach the Master. Come to him in whatever condition you find yourself in that you will not be rejected or ignored. He has a healing to offer you if you take a step of approach and humility.

The authorMartha Reyes

D. in Clinical Psychology.

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